Mississippi College Edges Millsaps

Mississippi College Edges Millsaps (Image 1)
Mississippi College Edges Millsaps (Image 1)

CLINTON, Miss. – Senior right-hander Bucky Shipp collected his first career win as the Mississippi College baseball team outlasted Millsaps, 10-8, on Wednesday afternoon at Frierson Field.

The Choctaws (20-17) have now won 15 of their last 21 games after opening the season with a 5-11 record. One more victory in their final three games this weekend against Texas-Tyler will clinch a winning record for MC for the first time since 2011.

Every Choctaw in the lineup had a hit in the contest, while five different players had two hits in the game.

Shipp came out of the bullpen and allowed four hits and two unearned runs over 2.0 innings to pick up the win. Junior Grady Turman earned his second save of the season, giving up just one hit over the final 3.0 innings. Senior Zac Tucker started the game for the Choctaws, going 4.0 innings.

The Majors (23-19), who wrapped up the 2014 season with the loss, opened the scoring with three runs in the second inning as Keith Shumaker drove in two with a 2-out, bases loaded single to score Bryce Blackburn and William Chenoweth.

After the Choctaws scored on failed pickoff attempt in the second inning, they would cut the lead to 3-2 in the third when senior Tate Ratcliff came home to score on a sacrifice fly by junior Marty Stringfellow. Ratcliff led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a single by senior Chris Casto. Ratcliff went 1-for-2 with three runs scored, while Stringfellow was 2-for-4 with three RBI.

MC would grab the lead for good in the fourth inning, scoring five runs on four hits. The Choctaws opened the frame with three straight hits as seniors Spencer Wilson, Robbie Jernigan and Kyle Blount got hits with Blount’s driving home Wilson to tie the game, 3-3. Ratcliff drove in a run with a bases loaded hit-by-pitch, while Casto’s bases loaded walk pushed the lead to 5-3. Freshman Hunter Bolin came in to score on a wild pitch and Stringfellow’s RBI fielder’s choice gave the Choctaws a 7-3 advantage.

In the fifth, the Majors cut the lead in half as Stephen Gates singled home two runs, driving in Andrew Rafferty and Shumaker. The Choctaws answered right back as freshman Chris Welch pushed the lead to 8-5 with a two-out RBI single to score Jernigan. Welch went 2-for-4 with the RBI, while Jernigan was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a run batted in.

Rafferty would cut the lead to one in the sixth inning as his two-out, two-run double produced two unearned runs and made the score 8-7 headed to MC’s half. Again, MC answered back as Stringfellow drove in Ratcliff with a single and Jernigan’s fifth sacrifice fly of the season scored Stringfellow to make the score 10-7.

The Majors would add a run in the seventh on an RBI double by Taz Watson, but Turman came in the game and retired the final seven batters to clinch the victory for the Choctaws.

Millsaps used seven pitchers in the game with Jack Hall (0-1) taking the loss on the mound.

The Choctaws will close out the 2014 season this weekend at Frierson Field when they host Texas-Tyler for a three-game series. Friday night’s game will begin at 6:00 pm, while Saturday’s doubleheader will start at noon. On Saturday, MC baseball will celebrate “Clinton Day” and “Senior Day”. The “Senior Day” festivities will take place in between the games of the doubleheader.

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