08 Mar

and they’re off

We are several weeks into the junior college season, but the race for the all-important conference championship has yet to start. The green flag will wave on Saturday with six doubleheaders on the docket. East Central Community College, which would have to be considered the pole-sitter, opens on Sunday. The Warriors, the defending champs, coast into MACCC play with a 23-0 record and will take on sputtering Coahoma (4-11) in Clarksdale. On Saturday, Pearl River — ranked No. 3 in the NJCAA Division II preseason poll — takes a 20-5 record into its games at Northeast (14-9). Elsewhere: Holmes (8-8) is at Jones (18-4); Delta (6-8) is at Gulf Coast (14-6); Hinds (12-11) is at East Mississippi (14-7); Southwest (12-13) is at Northwest (13-5); and Itawamba (7-10) visits Meridian (15-7). Copiah-Lincoln (10-12) opens league play on March 13 at Gulf Coast. … The top hitter in the state is Northwest’s Cade Leatherwood, batting .500. Gulf Coast’s Marc Stephens is at .487. Pearl River’s Hollis Porter leads the league in homers with 10, and East’s Evan Radford has eight. ECCC’s Mo Little has a state-best 34 RBIs and six homers. Top pitchers include ECCC’s Luke Cooley (3-0, 1.57 ERA, 44 strikeouts); Pearl River’s J.P. Robertson (5-0, 2.42); and Jones’ Beau Bryans (4-0, 1.93).

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