Eagles lose tourney opener

Published 11:42 am Friday, May 18, 2012

Hinds Community College lost its opener, 5-2, to Itawamba Community College in the NJCAA Region 23 tournament at LSU-Eunice on Thursday.

Hinds (34-17) fell into the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament. The Eagles will face Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in an elimination game today at 3 p.m.

Tyler Akins led the Eagles at the plate, going 3-for-3 with one RBI.

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Alex Gunn (5-3) threw a complete game for the Eagles, allowing only four earned runs and five hits.

The Indians (39-11) avenged a 16-5 loss to the Eagles in last week’s state tournament.

William Goss got things started with a single to right on the first pitch of the game and put the Indians up 2-0 when he and Jake Smithey scored on a double by Drew Alford, who later scored on a sacrifice fly by Channing Nanney.

The Eagles answered with a run in the bottom of the first, but the Indians answered when Nanney doubled and scored on ground out by Dillon Mitchell in the fourth and when Cody Shrewsbury tripled and scored on a groundout by Smithey.

“Those three runs to start the game were big,” said Itawamba starting pitcher Ben Hudspeth, who improved to 11-0 in the win. “When you can get a lead early it makes it a lot easier to fill up the zone and go after outs with the defense playing well behind me. It was just an all-around good game for everybody today.”

Hinds got a run back in the bottom of the fifth. But with bases loaded and one out, Myles Snyder entered the game in relief of Hudspeth and induced a 6-4-3 double play to get the Indians out of danger.