Something special seems to be brewing at East Central Community College. Again. Down five runs in the eighth inning on Tuesday against visiting East Mississippi, the Warriors rallied to win, 10-8, in extra innings, moving their record to 18-0 and notching coach Neal Holliman’s 500th win at the Decatur school. ECCC, the defending MACCC and Region 23 champion, is ranked 10th in the NJCAA Division II preseason poll and will surely jump when the first in-season poll is released. The Warriors won twice on Tuesday, beating 13th-ranked Meridian 14-2 in the first game of the three-team round-robin event. They hit three homers in that one, including a Kelby Jordan grand slam. They belted four more bombs in the win against East, two by Mo Little and a walk-off shot in the 10th by Brady McGee. ECCC is averaging almost 11 runs a game and has a 3.74 staff ERA. The Warriors play again on Saturday in a round-robin at Hinds, meeting Southeastern (Iowa) and the host Eagles. P.S. Lewisburg High, off to a 5-0 start, is ranked fifth in the latest MaxPreps Top 25. The Patriots, led by preseason All-America pick Samuel Richardson, are playing this weekend in the Perfect Game Showdown, a 60-team event at the Hoover Met in Alabama. Brandon, DeSoto Central and Hernando are also in the field. … Jackson Prep (9-1) is No. 22 in the MaxPreps poll as the only other state school in the rankings.
Konnor Griffin, outfielder/pitcher at Jackson Prep, is generally regarded as the state’s top high school prospect in the 2024 MLB draft, a potential first-rounder. Samuel Richardson, third baseman at Lewisburg High, might be another first-round candidate. Lindy’s preseason magazine ranks Richardson as the No. 33 prospect in the draft, the ninth-highest ranked high school player. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-handed hitter, cited for his raw power in various scouting reports, batted .301 with six homers, 23 RBIs, 11 doubles and five triples for MHSAA Class 6A state champion Lewisburg in 2023. A Missouri commit, he is one of four state-connected players in Lindy’s Top 50. Griffin (No. 8), ex-Madison Central High star Braden Montgomery of Texas A&M (No. 13) and Mississippi State’s Dakota Jordan (No. 25) are the others. Those three are also highly ranked by MLB Pipeline, which doesn’t have Richardson on its latest chart of the top 100. Both Griffin and Richardson made MaxPreps’ preseason high school All-America team. Lewisburg opens its season Thursday at Center Hill. P.S. Former Mississippi Braves Christian Bethancourt and Johan Camargo (Panama), Andrelton Simmons and Hendrik Clementina (Curacao) and Jairo Ascencio (Dominican Republic) have helped their teams reach the semifinal stage of the Caribbean Series in Miami. The semis are Thursday at loanDepot Park, the title game on Friday.