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NWCC Rangers close season with a couple of losses to Hinds

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers were denied a trip to the state tournament by dropping a pair of games to the Hinds Eagles April 30 and May 1 in Raymond.

Hinds swept Northwest by scores of 9-4 and 10-9 in the best-of-three series to end the Rangers’ season at 27-22-1.

“Anytime you make the post-season, you have a successful year,” said Northwest Head Coach Mark Carson. “We are disappointed with the way it ended, but we had a good season. We can build on this for next year.”

In the first contest, Northwest fell behind 7-1 after seven innings. The Rangers scored their lone run in the first frame when sophomore outfielder Seth Walker of Covington, Tenn., led off the game with his 15th homer of the season.

Northwest pushed across a couple of runs in the eighth inning on back-to-back RBI-singles by sophomores Rick Russell of Olive Branch and Matt James of Nesbit. Freshman Davis Horton of Oxford collected an RBI-double in the ninth frame to score Alan Mathis of Memphis.

Ranger starting pitcher Jeffrey Vance of Water Valley threw the first five innings and took the loss to drop his record to 8-3.

Northwest pounded out 17 hits in the second game, but came up short on the scoreboard. Ranger freshman second baseman Seth Milliorn of Olive Branch had four of those hits, while James and Mathis had three each.

Northwest tried to rally behind a solo homer from Joel Rich of Southaven in the fifth. The blast was Rich’s fourth of the spring.

The Rangers trimmed its deficit to 10-8 with two more runs in the seventh inning on RBI-singles by Mathis and Kyle Aldridge of Olive Branch. Mathis blasted a solo homer, his eighth of the year, in the top of the ninth to get Northwest closer at 10-9.

The Rangers left the tying run at third base with one out in the ninth when Hinds retired the last two batters of the contest.

Walker took the loss for Northwest to move his record to 1-1.

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