Harding's 14 strikeouts leads No. 5 Indians to win over No. 19 Meridian

Harding's 14 strikeouts leads No. 5 Indians to win over No. 19 Meridian

FULTON, Miss. – Freshman pitcher Houston Harding (Walls) struck out 14 batters to help the No. 5 Indians defeat No. 19 Meridian Community College, 5-0, in the first game of the MACJC showdown on Saturday.

VIDEO: Harding talks about his 14 strikeouts against No. 19 Meridian

The Indians (18-3, 4-1 MACJC) broke open a scoreless contest with a four-run bottom of the sixth.

With two outs in the inning, LaBryant Siddell (Tupelo) drew a walk and advanced to third on a double by Jackson Lancaster (Corinth) before Hunter Nabors (Montevallo, Ala.) loaded the bases when he drew a six-pitch walk.

Jacob Hall (Petal) enter in a pinch-hit situation and smashed a double to the gap in right center to clear the bases and give the Indians a 3-0 lead. Kyle Weaver (Courtland) plated Hall to take a 4-0 lead before the Eagles (14-5, 3-2 MACJC) could get out of the inning.

Nabors tacked on an insurance run after being hit by a pitch and scoring on a sacrifice fly to right by Connor Lewis (Corinth) in the eighth.

Harding picked up his first strikeout of the game to end the second and recorded back-to-back strikeouts to start the third. He struck out his fourth and fifth batters to end the fourth and fifth innings before getting in the zone over the final four innings.

The Evangelical Christian School graduate struck out the side in the sixth and fanned two to get a pair of three up, three down innings in the seventh and eighth. After issuing a walk with one out in the top of the ninth he notched his thirteenth strikeout before surrendering his fourth hit of the game. He picked up the final out on a swinging strikeout to send his teammates storming on the field to celebrate the dominating performance.

Harding scattered four hits and four walks to go along with his 14 strikeouts in a complete game shutout to improve to 5-0 on the year.

The Indians totaled seven hits in the game with Lancaster going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a run scored.

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