EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part five of a five-part series that recognizes some of the most talented young men and women that have represented the Northeast Mississippi Community College athletic department over the last 10 years.
BOONEVILLE, Miss. – Local athletes are scattered all across Northeast Mississippi Community College’s all-decade team for its baseball program.
Fifteen alumni that donned a black-and-gold uniform from 2010-19 were pegged for this prestigious recognition. Eleven of those former Tigers are from the northern half of the Magnolia State.
Players were picked based upon the overall impact they made on their respective teams plus statistical analysis. A panel of seven individuals, including athletic department staff and members of the local media, participated in this process.
All honorees captured postseason awards from the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC). Some secured additional accolades from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
The selections were made by position and includes one first baseman, one second baseman, one third baseman, one shortstop, one catcher, three outfielders, three starting pitchers, one relief pitcher and three designated hitters or utility players.
First Base: Tyler Samaniego (Huntsville, Ala.) Two-time MACCC All-State (2019 second-team/2018 first-team)…Played in all 47 games as a sophomore…Led the team with 58 hits, 54 RBIs and a .358 batting average…Accumulated 16 multiple hit games…Had a career-best outing against Mississippi Delta with three hits, one double, one home run, two runs scored and six RBIs…Appeared in 44 games as a freshman…Tallied 58 hits to go with a .403 batting average and a slugging percentage of .660…Amassed a month-long hitting streak, which included 10 multiple hit games…Hit safely in 20 of the last 22 games to end his inaugural campaign as a Tiger…Posted a career-best four hits in game one of a doubleheader sweep over Holmes…Recorded three or more hits in 11 games in his two seasons at Northeast…Career .379 batter in 91 appearances for the Tigers with 24 doubles, one triple, 16 home runs, 77 runs scored and 88 RBIs over two seasons…Also saw action on the mound with overall statistics of five saves, 29 strikeouts, 17 walks, and a 4.88 ERA in 27.2 career innings…Currently on the active baseball roster at South Alabama.
Second Base: Trent Turner (Brandon, Miss.) 2014 NJCAA All-Region 23…Two-time MACCC All-State (2015/2014 first-Led the NJCAA as a freshman with nine sacrifice flies and was 12th in slugging percentage
Third Base: Josh Mills (Oxford, Miss.) 2013 MACCC All-State first-team…Appeared in 37 games for the Tigers as a sophomore and had a .355 batting average, a .447 on base percentage and a .504 slugging percentage…Collected 43 hits, which was third most on the team, in 121 at bats…Scored 38 runs for the Tigers with 10 doubles (second most for Northeast), one triple and two home runs while driving in 21 RBIs…Thirteen multiple hit performances, including three-in-a-row in back-to-back outings against Mississippi Delta and game one of a doubleheader versus Holmes…Finished with a .917 fielding percentage and was part of 10 double plays on the
Shortstop: Luke Stanley (Oxford, Miss.) 2014 MACCC All-State first-team… Anchored the Tigers’ defense at with a team-best 95 assists to go with 53 putouts and was part of 14 double and also tallied a .327 batting average, a .420 on base percentage and a .425 slugging
Catcher: Riley Alef (New Albany, Miss.) 2014 MACCC All-State second-team…Primary starter behind the plate for Northeast for two consecutive campaigns…Caught 21 runners stealing during his sophomore season, which was tops in the MACCC and third most in the picked off a runner at first base…Had a stellar series at the plate versus Mississippi Delta with four hits, a double and five RBIs…Compiled a .273 batting average with a .381 on base percentage and 19 RBIs in 40 contests during his final year with the Tigers…Recorded a .977 fielding percentage with only five errors in 221 total chances…Career .260 batter in 69 appearances at Northeast with 13 doubles, one home run and 33 RBIs over two seasons…Had a 46.7 runners caught stealing percentage over his two years on the Booneville campus.
Outfielder: Will Robertson (Falkner, Miss.) Two-time MACCC All-State (2013 …Topped the Tigers in several statistical categories as a sophomore including batting average (.420), on base percentage (.531), slugging percentage (.667), hits (58), doubles (17), runs scored (47), RBIs (55), walks (31), total bases (92), extra base hits (23) and plate appearances (178)…Struck out just nine times in 47 outings that year…Added one triple and five home runs during his sensational season at the plate…Amassed six three-hit performances, including in the regular season finale versus Mississippi Delta…Recorded 61 putouts, including a pair of sliding catches in the decisive game three of Northeast’s opening round playoff series win over Mississippi Gulf Coast…Came on strong during MACCC North Division action as a freshman with a .359 batting average against league
Outfielder: Heath Wood (Kossuth, Miss.) Two-time MACCC All-State (2014
Outfielder: Bailey Walker (Lake Cormorant, Miss.) Two-time MACCC All-State (2017/2016 first-team)…Topped the Tigers in nearly every major offensive category as a sophomore, including batting average (.465), slugging percentage (.683), hits (66), runs scored (46), doubles (12) and stolen bases (11)…Recorded at least one hit in 35 of 42 games played…Had multiple hits in 19 of those outings…Posted three four-hit performances against Coahoma, Holmes and Northwest…Selected as MACCC Player of the Week after recording a double, a home run and five RBIs during Northeast’s season opening doubleheader versus Calhoun (Ala.)…Just as good for Northeast as a freshman…Led the team at the plate in the categories of batting average (.375), on base percentage (.479), slugging percentage (.581), doubles (11), triples (4), home runs (3), RBIs (31) and stolen bases (11)…Career .421 batter in 84 appearances for the Tigers with 117 total hits, 23 doubles, six triples, eight homers, 81 runs scored, 70 RBIs and 22 stolen bases over two seasons…Had six career games with three or more RBIs and 14 outings with at least three hits.
Starting Pitcher: Tanner Gaines (Baldwyn, Miss.) 2013 MACCC All-State first-team…Made an immediate impact for Northeast after transferring from Mississippi State following his freshman year…Posted a 7-3 record in 13 appearances for the Tigers…His win total was the most among all Tigers that season…Also topped Northeast’s pitching staff in the categories of innings pitched (64.1), strikeouts (50) and complete games (4)…Conceded just five extra base hits all season while accumulating a 1.96 ERA…Made his debut at Northeast on opening day and earned the win over Arkansas Baptist with only one unearned run allowed in five innings of work…Posted his only shutout during a victory at Itawamba in which he scattered three hits and struck out four batters…Finished with a .920 fielding percentage with only two errors all year…Finished collegiate career at Arkansas State.
Starting Pitcher: Cooper Cox (Ripley, Miss.) Two-time MACCC All-State (2019/2018 second-Led the entire country during his sophomore campaign with eight complete games in 12 starts for the Tigers…Finished tied for fifth in the Magnolia State with 72 innings of work…Compiled a record of 8-4, which was the most wins for Northeast…Also topped the Tigers with 64 strikeouts compared to only 12 walks…Tossed his only career complete game shutout that year against Southwest…Appeared in 16 games and started in 12 of those contests as a freshman…Tied for the most wins on that season with six while also posting a team-low 3.77 ERA…Struck out 49 batters and walked only 19 in 74 innings on the mound…Recorded his only career save by closing out a one-run win at Jones…Overall pitching record of 14-8 with 113 strikeouts, 31 walks and a 3.08 ERA in 146 innings of action…Gave up two or fewer runs in 18 of his 29 career appearances…Struck out four or more batters in 15 outings…Finished collegiate career at Blue Mountain.
Starting Pitcher: Jake Christa (Huntsville, Ala.) 2018 MACCC All-State second-team…Topped the Tigers with 57 strikeouts and tied for the most wins (6) and complete games (4) during his inaugural campaign at the collegiate level…Walked only 16 batters in 70.1 innings of work…Notched his first career win in a Northeast uniform in game one of a sweep at Mississippi Delta with six strikeouts and three walks in six innings…Recorded his lone save that season by tossing the final three frames at Jackson State (Tenn.)…Won his final four starts, including game two of the Tigers’ first round playoff series at Meridian…Recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts during a victory at Coahoma…Started eight games on the mound as a sophomore in 2019 and went 5-2 with 46 strikeouts and a 3.07 ERA…Overall pitching record of 11-5 with 103 strikeouts, 24 walks and a 4.53 ERA in 111.1 innings of action…Currently on the active baseball roster at Alabama-Huntsville.
Relief Pitcher: Evan Hickman (Holly Springs, Miss.) 2014 MACCC All-State second-team…Most reliable arm out of the bullpen during his only season at Northeast…Accumulated eight saves, which was ninth best in the nation, in nine opportunities…Topped the Tigers with a 1.74 ERA in 20.2 innings of
DH/Utility: Brandon Farley (Cookeville, Tenn.) 2010 MACCC All-State first-team…Became the ace of Northeast’s pitching staff as a sophomore with team-bests of 61 strikeouts, 61.2 innings and a 3.65 ERA…Made a statement during the first start of that season with a complete game shutout that included nine strikeouts against nationally ranked Panola (Texas) at the Wes Cliburn Memorial Tournament…Just as good offensively with a .351 batting average, .430 on base percentage, six doubles, two triples, two home runs, 28 runs scored and 20 RBIs in his final year with the Tigers…Had a four-hit performance, which included a double and triple, at East Mississippi…Finished with a .969 fielding percentage with just four errors in 131 total chances…Compiled a 4-2 record on the mound during his freshman campaign with a .340 batting average and 22 RBIs offensively…Career .346 batter in 73 appearances at Northeast with 14 doubles, four triples, five homers and 42 RBIs over two seasons…Overall pitching record of 8-8 with 85 strikeouts, 32 walks and a 3.51 ERA in 105 innings of action…Finished collegiate career at Arkansas State…Selected in the 33rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants…Played three seasons with the Arizona Giants (Rookie) and Augusta GreenJackets (A)…Professional statistics include a 7-6 record, five saves, 90 strikeouts, 40 walks and 108.2 innings…Inducted into the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame in the class of 2018.
DH/Utility: Anthony Lipsey (Myrtle, Miss.) 2019 MACCC All-State first-team…Led the Tigers as a sophomore with a .621 slugging percentage, 22 extra base hits and 11 home runs, which was tied for sixth most in the Magnolia State…Finished second on the team with 51 hits and 51 RBIs…Added 11 doubles and 29 runs scored to his stellar season…Had his only four-hit performance that year in a win at Meridian…Recorded a pair of five RBI outings against Calhoun (Ala.) and Mississippi Delta…Ended the season with a hit in eight of his last 10 games…Registered a .330 batting average during his freshman campaign with 20 runs scored and 26 RBIs…Had his lone multi-home run game that season versus Holmes…Career .332 batter in 80 appearances at Northeast with 17 doubles, 15 homers, 49 runs scored and 77 RBIs over two seasons…Accounted for 27 multiple hit games…Had 10 career outings with three or more RBIs…Currently on the active baseball roster at Blue Mountain.
DH/Utility: Tucker Childers (Ripley, Miss.) 2018 NJCAA All-Region 23…Two-time MACCC All-State (2018/2017 first-team)…Led the Tigers for two consecutive seasons in both home runs and RBIs…Holds the program record with 23 career homers…Sensational as a sophomore with team-highs of 12 doubles, 13 home runs, 53 RBIs and a .679 slugging percentage…Also had a .352 batting average, .424 on base percentage, 57 hits and 42 runs scored that year…Recorded lone four-hit outing versus Mississippi Delta…Tallied a .955 fielding percentage with action at both catcher and first base…Caught 42.9 percent of the runners that attempted to steal on him…Registered 51 hits, including 21 extra base hits, during his freshman year with 43 RBIs…Hit safely in 16 of the last 19 games of his initial season at Northeast…Career .359 batter in 89 appearances for the Tigers with 23 doubles, one triple, 23 home runs, 59 runs scored and 96 RBIs over two seasons…Accounted for five career multi-homer performances, including four during his sophomore year against East Central, Holmes, Meridian and Motlow State (Tenn.)…Represented Northeast on the NJCAA National Team at the 2018 National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan.…Finished collegiate career at Arkansas-Little Rock.
NOTE: Photos for each member of Northeast Mississippi Community College’s all-decade baseball team are available by contacting sports information director Blake Long at email@example.com or 662-720-7448.