MCC baseball

MCC head baseball coach Mitch Thompson (above right) speaks to the Highlanders before their game Sunday night.

Courtesy of MCC Athletics — Madi Columbus, file

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – McLennan jumped out to a great start at the Junior College World Series.

MCC used a six-run inning to shoot out in front on its way to an easy run-rule 10-1 win over Florence-Darlington (S.C.) late Sunday night. With the victory, the Highlanders (52-11) were able to take Monday off, as they’ll face San Jacinto at 8:30 p.m. Central Tuesday night.

MCC played San Jac back on March 20, winning a 16-11 contest in Waco.

“You have to be happy when you get a 10-1 win on your opening night here,” MCC coach Mitch Thompson said. “I’m very proud of the guys’ effort.”

Jase Embry drew the start for the Highlanders and put his team in great position to win. The former Riesel High School standout logged six innings, striking out five and yielding just three hits to the Stingers (42-18). Embry improved to 9-2 on the year with the win.

The Highlanders gave Embry ample breathing room with a six-run second inning, all of which came with two outs. Griffin Paxton walked to lead off the inning, then the next two MCC hitters struck out. But the Highlanders kept grinding, as George Callil singled and Chris Roller walked to load the bases.

A Joe Breaux walk scored the first run of the game, then his brother Josh Breaux opened the floodgates when he belted a grand slam home run over the left-field wall. MCC wasn’t done either, as Nic Motley followed Breaux’s bomb with a solo shot of his own, increasing the lead to 6-0.

MCC flexed its muscle later on as well, as Paxton homered in the third inning and Roller smacked a solo swat in the fifth. The Highlanders have pounded 98 home runs in 63 games this season.

“Our lineup did a great job of grinding at-bats early against Trent Autry, who has a really nice arm,” Thompson said. “The longballs were the difference in the game.”

Florence-Darlington scored its only run on a Dante Blakeney solo home run in the third.

Paxton went 2-for-3 to top the Highlanders at the plate.

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