Co-Lin to host Central District tourney

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Copiah-Lincoln Communty College’s baseball team is hosting the Central District Tournament beginning Thursday for the second time in three years after capturing the NJCAA Region 23 District II championship Sunday.

The Wolves defeated state champion Northwest Mississippi Community College 7-5. It was sweet revenge as the Rangers had defeated the Wolves the previous week in the championship game of the rain-delayed State Tournament in Fulton.

&uot;The guys were really focused,&uot;&160;said Co-Lin coach Keith Case, who was named Coach of the Year in the district. &uot;We had some guys step up. We scored in every inning but two, so we just kept pecking away and we played pretty good defense.&uot;

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The winner of the series will advance to the World Series in Millington, Tenn.

Co-Lin, 41-14, will open Central District Tournament play Thursday at 3 p.m. against St.&160;Catherine College of Kentucky (40-10).

If the Wolves win, they will face Forest Park of St. Louis (Mo.) at 6 p.m. Thursday in Wesson.

&uot;That’s really tough,&uot; Case said. &uot;We’ve got a monumental task ahead of us. I don’t understand possibly having to play two games that close together. We’ve got fewer teams involved, so the competition is better.&uot;

The loser of the Co-Lin-St. Catherine College game will play again Friday in the double elimination tournament.

In the championship game, in the bottom of the seventh, with the score tied at 4-all, Co-Lin shortstop Christopher Dunn led off with a single.

Newman planted a triple to score Dunn to give the Wolves a 5-4 lead.

The Wolves added another run in the eighth as shortstop Nook Logan of Natchez walked, stole second and scored on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Mouton to give the Wolves a 7-5 win.

Logan, who was hitting .330 going into the series, set a school record with 34 stolen bases.

&uot;Nook has been swinging the bat well,&uot; Case said

Jacob Blakeney (11-1) picked up the win in relief of starter Chuckie Stracener.

Doug Atkins of Natchez came on in relief of Blakeney in the eighth inning to shut down the Ranger rally.

It was his school record eighth save.

&uot;Doug has really done a good job on the mound and I hope he can get some more saves,&uot; Case said.

Co-Lin beat Hinds 18-6 to reach the finals.

On the mound, Blakeney pitched a 5-hitter.

Doug Atkins pitched the fifth and final inning.

Rightfielder Brandon Atkins of Natchez belted a 3-run home run off the scoreboard in the fourth inning.

Brandon Atkins was hitting .340 going into the tournament.

&uot;Brandon is doing well and has gotten some big hits for us,&uot; Case said.

The Wolves went ahead 5-1 as Newman singled and McNulty drilled a triple to the right-center fence.

A sacrifice fly by Brandon Akins made the score 6-1.