Hinds rolls through EMCC in regional

Published 10:32 am Friday, May 15, 2015

Hinds Community College didn’t waste any time making an impression on the rest of the field at the Region XXIII tournament.

Five players had two hits apiece. Four drove in multiple runs. Pitching ace Randy Bell allowed one run in seven innings. It all added up to a 12-1 blowout win over East Mississippi in the tournament opener on Thursday.

“Any time you can get that first game in and get a win is a big deal, but to do it in the fashion we did is an even bigger deal,” Hinds coach Sam Temple said. “It gives you confidence, and helps your pitching staff since we only had to use one pitcher.”

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It was Hinds’ third win this season over East Mississippi (29-17), and it has outscored the Lions 24-3 in those meetings. The next game, however, figures to be a different type of challenge.

Sam Temple

Sam Temple

LSU-Eunice beat Northwest Mississippi 12-0 on Thursday night to set up a winners’ bracket showdown between the the top two teams in the NJCAA Division II poll.

Hinds (42-5) and LSU-Eunice, the regional host, play tonight at 7.

East Mississippi and Northwest Mississippi will play an elimination game at 3 p.m.

“That’s going to be a big-time deal,” Temple said. “It’s going to be a big-time junior college baseball game. Whoever wins tonight is going to put themselves in the driver’s seat. You’ve got number one and number two going at it. Somebody in this thing is going home.”

Hinds scored in each of the first four innings Thursday before plating four runs in the bottom of the seventh to end the game via the mercy rule.

Tyler Cox hit a two-run home run, Jonathan and Jordan Washam each had a two-run single, and a two-run double by Kyle O’Keefe ended the game.

The Washam brothers each had two hits and scored two runs. Jonathan had three RBIs and Jordan drove in two runs.

Marshall Boggs was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, O’Keefe was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Casey Echols scored twice.

East Mississippi pitcher J’Daylin Jackson allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings to take the loss. His record fell to 7-2, with both losses coming against Hinds.

“We hit the baseball really well. The guys put together great at-bats against a good pitcher,” Temple said.

Bell allowed one unearned run on six hits in his abbreviated complete game. He walked two batters and struck out five.

Bell’s complete game allowed Hinds to rest its bullpen for the rest of the tournament, much like he did at last weekend’s MACJC tournament.

In six postseason games, Hinds’ bullpen has only thrown a total of 11 innings.

“That’s a big plus,” Temple said. “One, for him to throw that well, and two, to be the only guy to throw.”