BASEBALL: Jackets defeat Choctaws 8-4 in Friday's opener, split doubleheader
CLINTON, Miss. – The LeTourneau YellowJackets claimed an 8-4 game one victory over Mississippi College in their Friday doubleheader and led twice in the second game before the Choctaws raced back and took an 11-8 win in game two.
The YellowJackets finished their conference schedule with a record of 7-11 in the American Southwest Conference East Division and ended the season with a record of 19-21.
By taking game one, the YellowJackets ended Mississippi College's (22-16, 11-7 ASC East) hopes of hosting a first-round game in the conference tournament.
The win gave the YellowJackets their first win over Mississippi College since March 6, 2009.
GAME 1: LeTourneau 8, Mississippi College 4
The YellowJacket bats exploded for five runs in the top of the seventh and gave starting pitcher Travis Norris a comfortable advantage for the last half-inning as LeTourneau quelled the Choctaws' chance to host a first-round series in the ASC playoffs.
The Jackets led to 3-2 going into the top of the seventh inning and then stretched their lead when Chris Bertram knocked a one-out, bases-loaded double off the centerfield wall to score Logan Smith and Garrett Methvin. Two batters later, Josh Francis stretched the LETU lead to 7-2 with a single that allowed Nate Tomaszewski and Bertram to cross home plate.
The Choctaws took advantage of a leadoff error to start the bottom of the seventh and a wild pitch to plate two runs, but the 8-2 advantage was too much to overcome. Norris (3-4) was credited with two unearned runs in the inning before shutting down the Choctaws for his first complete game of the season.
Bertram, Smith and Travis Self knocked two base hits apiece in the game, with Smith and Self adding RBIs to their line in the scorebook. Tomaszewski went 2-for-3 and also drew an intentional walk in the game.
Cam Hamilton accounted for LeTourneau's eighth run of the game with an RBI single on an 0-2 count to score Francis.
GAME 2: Mississippi College 11, LeTourneau 8
The Choctaws twice came back from deficits of three runs or more and scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth en route to winning the series from LeTourneau.
Tomaszewski slammed a home run in the first inning – his fourth of the season – as the Jackets built a 5-0 lead. He went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Methvin, Varnado and Haydn Vaughan collected two hits apiece.
Travis Self pitched five complete innings and scattered nine hits and left the game with an 8-5 lead before the Choctaws rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ray Whitley pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.