Seth Milliorn lined the first pitch he saw in the eighth inning over the wall in right center to keep the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers’ hopes for an MACJC North Division championship alive.
Northwest used Milliorn’s walk-off two-run homer with two outs to defeat the Northeast Tigers 9-7 in the first game of a doubleheader April 10 at Ranger Field in Senatobia. Northeast claimed the nightcap 4-1.
The Rangers, 23-16 overall, moved into a first-place tie with Itawamba in the north division with both teams holding identical 10-4 marks. Northwest and Itawamba will square off Tuesday, April 13 in Senatobia in a doubleheader at 1 p.m.
Milliorn, a sophomore second baseman from Olive Branch, had three hits in the opening contest and scored three runs.
“This was a big day for us,” said Northwest Head Coach Mark Carson. “It’s getting near the end of the regular season and this is when we need to start turning it up a notch.”
The Rangers led 7-3 after six innings thanks to a a solo home run by freshman catcher Drew Klepzig of Hernando in the second frame and a a two-run blast by sophomore first baseman Joel Rich of Southaven in the sixth inning.
Northeast countered by pushing four runs across in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 7-7 and force extra innings.
Northwest freshman Drew Griffin of Somerville, Tenn., earned the victory by throwing on inning in relief to even his record at 1-1. Starting pitcher Tarus Hervey, a freshman from Water Valley, threw the first seven innings and registered seven strikeouts.
The Tigers claimed a 4-0 lead after four innings in the nightcap which led to the win.
The Rangers’ lone run came on Rich’s fourth homer of the season in the sixth frame. Northwest tried to rally in the seventh when Klepzig and sophomore third baseman Hunter Parham of Southaven led off the inning with back-to-back base hits, but Northeast was able to turn a double play to squash the Rangers’ comeback attempt.
Northwest freshman starting pitcher Heath Kitchens of Pontotoc shouldered the loss to drop his record to 1-1.