The MCC Athletics Blog

Officially the "unofficial" MCC Athletic Blog; created for all Eagle fans- so that they can keep tabs of their favorite JuCo team.

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Monday

MCC Softball Star Named to MACJC All-State Team



From School Reports

The Meridian Community College softball team recently had one of its players named to the prestigious MACJC All-State Team to conclude the 2016 season. Freshman Mycahla Howard was named a member of the 2016 MACJC All-State Team after having a solid first season as a member of the MCC softball team. Howard led MCC in most offensive categories in 2016 as MCC missed the postseason by just one game.

Howard led MCC in home runs with six and finished the 2016 season with a batting average of .375, and was second on the team in RBIs with 26. Howard had 31 singles, seven doubles, one triple, and finished with 19 runs scored. Howard played defensively on the field at third base for the Lady Eagles and played in all 42 games during the 2016 campaign for MCC under the direction of head coach Faith Robinson.

MCC Golf Prepares for National Tournament



From School Reports

The Meridian Community College golf team is in full preparation for its biggest tournament of the season as it is set to compete on the national stage. The Eagles are set to participate in the 2016 NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament on May 24-27 at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, IN. The team will depart for the tournament on Friday and are looking to build on an already stellar record in 2016. MCC played in 11 total tournaments during the season and won four over that span, and most against some of the top competition in the Southeast.

The Eagles will enter the tournament ranked fourth according to the latest Golfstat.com rankings and several of the players on the roster have had a superb season for MCC head coach Ronnie Key. MCC will send four of its players to the National Tournament after finishing second in the Region 23 Tournament earlier this season to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Eagles had four of its players qualify for the National Tournament based on its impressive scoring averages during the conference season and one of those players is from the Meridian area. Freshman Lance Strickland, a former Lamar standout, will lead the Eagles into the national event after claiming the 2016 MACJC Player of the Year Award. Strickland led the way with a 70.38 scoring average in the six MACJC tournaments that he competed in during the season. Strickland is currently ranked third in the nation among all players in the Division II ranks heading into the tournament after winning two tournaments during the season. Strickland was all named to nine All-Tournament Teams in 11 appearances for the Eagles during the season.

Sophomore Grant Renegar (McComb, MS- Parklane Academy) will also look to lead the Eagles to victory and made the MACJC All-State First Team, and is currently ranked 10th nationally among all players in Division II. Renegar won a pair of tournaments during 2016 and was also named to the All-Tournament Team on eight different occasions. Renegar has a 72.64 scoring average in 11 tournaments this season and qualified for the National Tournament bases on his scoring average this season for the Eagles.

Freshman Camden Backel (Madison, MS- Madison Central) will also look to make a splash at the event after having a solid first year for the MCC golf program. Backel made the MACJC All-State Second Team and is currently ranked 17th nationally among all Division II players. Backel placed on four All-Tournament Teams during the season and finished with a 73.64 overall scoring average. Backel also qualified for the National Tournament with his strong play at the Region 23 Tournament bases off his scores.

The final member of the MCC golf team to qualify for the National Tournament was sophomore Clayton Gray (Baldwyn, MS- Baldwyn). Gray had a 77.04 scoring average during the season and is ranked 75th nationally. Gray also qualified for the National Tournament with his strong performance at the Region 23 Tournament.

The MCC golf team also performed well in the classroom to conclude the 2015-2016 academic year by posting a team GPA of 3.38.

Friday

MCC Baseball Closes Out 2016 Season



From School Reports

The Meridian Community College Eagles headed into the second day of the 2016 MACJC State Tournament needing a victory to keep its season alive and punch a ticket to the Region 23 Tournament. The Eagles fell in an early 5-0 hole after one inning and couldn't recover to fall at the hands of Northwest Mississippi Community College by a final score of 9-4.

MCC closed out the 2016 season with an overall record of 39-12, while Northwest Mississippi claimed the final spot in the Region 23 Tournament next weekend with the victory.

MCC finished its final game of the season against the Rangers with 10 total hits and were led at the plate by Luke Craig. The freshman first baseman drove in a pair of runs on a pair of singles, while Blake Fields added one RBI on a solo home run. Jaylon Keys knocked in one run on a single and Matt Berler finished with one single. Baylor Obert, Dalton Smith, and Nate Romans each ended the game with one single apiece.

Austin Harrison (6-2) suffered the loss on the mound for the Eagles by only recording two outs in the first inning. Freshman Spencer Price shined out of the MCC bullpen by working five innings and recording seven strikeouts. 

Monday

MCC Baseball Prepares for State Tournament



From School Reports

The Meridian Community College baseball team is gearing up for the 2016 MACJC State Tournament that is set to begin on Thursday in Ellisville, MS on the campus of Jones County Junior College. The Eagles advanced to the tournament by defeating Itawamba Community College in a dramatic three-game series over the weekend at Scaggs Field. The Eagles needed a 7-5 victory in the third game of the series with the Indians to advance to this week’s postseason event at JCJC. MCC has enjoyed a great deal of success during the 2016 campaign and will look to build on its already storied baseball tradition this week at the State Tournament.

MCC will enter the tournament as the second seed among the four-team field and will face off against East Central Community College on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the first round. The Warriors will enter the tournament as the number three seed and should prove to be a tough opening draw for the Eagles. ECCC advanced to the State Tournament after sweeping past Mississippi Gulf Coast in its three-game series in Decatur over the weekend. ECCC swept the series over the Bulldogs on Saturday after a wild 27-21 victory and enter the tournament having won six straight games. The two schools split their regular season meeting back on April 12 with MCC winning 11-4 and the Warriors grabbing a victory by a final of 8-4.

MCC is currently 39-10 entering the tournament and will need at least one victory in the State Tournament to clinch a spot in the Region 23 Tournament which will be played May 19-22. The other first round game on Thursday at the State Tournament will feature Jones County Junior College and Northwest Mississippi Community College which is scheduled for a first pitch of 6 p.m.

MACJC Tournament

Ellisville
Community Bank Park
May 12 games
Game 1, No. 2 Meridian vs. No. 3 East Central, 2 p.m.
Game 2, No. 1 Jones County vs. No. 4 Northwest, 6 p.m.
May 13 games
Game 3, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m.
Game 4, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 6 p.m.
May 14 games
Game 5, Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m.
Game 6, Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 6 p.m.
May 15 game
Game 7, If necessary, 2 p.m

Saturday

MCC Baseball Advances to the MACJC State Tournament



From School Reports

The Meridian Community College baseball team had to fight to the final out on Saturday night to punch its ticket to the 2016 MACJC State Tournament. MCC fought back from a 4-0 deficit in Game Three of its three-game series against Itawamba to escape with a 7-5 victory. The series was forced to a third game after the Indians defeated MCC in Game Two by a final score of 12-5. The Eagles did most of its damage in the bottom of the sixth inning with six runs and added its final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh.

MCC improved to 39-10 overall with the series win, while Itawamba closed out the 2016 season with an overall mark of 27-20. MCC now advances to the 2016 MACJC State Tournament which will be played at Jones County Junior College on May 12-14. The top three teams that finish at the State Tournament will move on to play in the Region 23 Tournament on May 19-22. The teams that will take part in the 2016 MACJC State Tournament include: Jones, Meridian, East Central, and Northwest. The bracket and starting times of all of the first round games of the State Tournament to be played in Ellisville have yet to be released.

The Eagles clinched the series victory over ICC on Saturday night, but not without a great deal of drama in the top of the ninth inning of Game Three. MCC carried a 7-5 lead into the final frame and the Indians were able to load the bases with no outs against MCC freshman reliever Spencer Price. The Eagles recorded one out on a strikeout and then the final two outs were recorded on a double play turned by MCC first baseman Luke Craig. Itawamba first baseman Ty Wheeler jumped on the first pitch he saw from Price, but laced it right into the glove of Craig at first base. Craig stepped on the bag just a couple of seconds later to complete the double play and send the Eagles to the win.

Craig also had a great night at the plate in Game Three for the Eagles with a two-run double, while Matt Berler drove in two runs on three singles. Eason Weeks added an RBI on a double and Jaylon Keys picked up an RBI on a single in the victory. Sophomore Austin Harrison picked up the victory for MCC by pitching six tough innings, while Spencer Price earned the hard fought three-inning save.

Jaylon Keys and Blake Fields led MCC at the plate in Game Two in which Itawamba won by a final count of 12-5. Keys had four base hits in the Game Two loss and was a double shy of hitting for the cycle. Fields smashed a solo homer in the setback, while Nate Romans had an RBI base hit.