BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- On March 13th, 2020, the Northeast Mississippi Community College Tiger baseball team was preparing to host Pearl River for a double header at their brand new baseball stadium, then the Coronavirus happened and everything shut down. Now nearly 11 months later baseball is back in Booneville.
"It’s going to be really special to get out here again," Sophomore Hayden Scarbrough said.
What made the shutdown even harder: the Tigers were crushing the competition, 16 wins and just two losses to start the season.
"We were on a roll, we were playing the best baseball we ever played," Scarbrough said. "We were meshing together really well, it was kind of a disappointment, a let down."
A let down for the team and almost the end of New Site native Ramsey Ivy’s career. He was a sophomore last year, but thanks to the NJCAA allowing an extra year of eligiblity, he got to dust off the ole mitt and cleats and play for the Tigers again.
"It’s going to be cool, it’s going to be real cool, especially if we play the season through because we had a good shot at it," Ivy said. "We were going good, everything was going smooth."
The coaches within the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) decided to play a 42 game schedule, all in-state, in an effort to play a full season and decrease exposure to the coronavirus.
"We’re pushing forward, the coaches in our league they have great leadership they have great vision," NEMCC head coach Richy Harrelson said. "We really are pushing forward to make this the best year we can make it."
Not just a doubleheader Friday to kick off the season, a tripleheader. EMCC and ICC are coming to Booneville for a set of three games, starting at 11 A.M. between the rivals, ICC and NEMCC, the first time in program history that the rivals will open up the season against each other.