BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/NEMCC Athletics) - Northeast Mississippi Community College's baseball program says farewell to Harold T. White Field following the 2019 campaign with construction well underway on its new state-of-the-art on-campus complex.
The Tigers will give their fans several chances to celebrate their home since 1988 with 26 of its 46 total games during the upcoming season originating from the City of Hospitality.
As long as Mother Nature cooperates, Northeast would tie the mark for most home contests during this decade. The Tigers also played 26 games in Booneville during the 2016 season.
"There's a lot of memories over there for a lot of Northeast players," said Tigers head coach Richy Harrelson. "There's a lot of guys that's come through that's put a lot of sweat and blood and energy on that field. So it's always going to be a special place for Northeast."
The Tigers will welcome Calhoun (Ala.) Community College for their season opener for the third consecutive year on Tuesday, February 12. Northeast has split its opening day doubleheader with the Warhawks in each of the past two campaigns.
It is actually the fourth straight campaign and the seventh instance in the last nine seasons in which the Tigers have started their new year at the friendly confines of Harold T. White Field.
Northeast next faces a home-and-home series with Jackson State (Tenn.) Community College over a two-day period from February 16-17. The Tigers also have out-of-state trips to Southwest Tennessee Community College and Calhoun.
The Tigers' non-conference slate also has more of a northern feel to it when compared to the past several years. Northeast welcomes Kaskaskia (Ill.) College, Lake Land (Ill.) College and North Iowa Area Community College for twin bills in late February and early March.
Northeast is challenged right off the bat to begin the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) portion of its schedule when it travels to reigning state champion Pearl River Community College on Saturday, March 16.
The Tigers end March and transition to April with a pivotal eight-game home stand that includes matchups with Jones College, Mississippi Delta Community College, Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Coahoma Community College.
Eight of Northeast's next 10 games are on the road, including a rematch of the 2018 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 best-of-three playoff series at Meridian Community College on Tuesday, April 16.
The lone exception to that aforementioned stretch is the Tigers' only meeting of the year with rival Itawamba Community College, which takes place in Booneville on Wednesday, April 10.
Northeast will applaud and salute its stellar sophomore class during its final home contests of the regular season on Tuesday, April 30 when East Mississippi Community College comes to town.
"These guys have worked so hard for us," Harrelson said. "We have a tremendous, tremendous amount of team chemistry going on right now. I can't wait to get on the field with them and watch them compete."
The top nine squads in the Magnolia State advance to the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament. The teams seeded two-through-nine will play in a first round series at four different on-campus locations from May 9-11.
The four opening round winners, the MACJC champion and Louisiana State University at Eunice will then come together for a six-team double elimination competition between May 16-18 with the victor advancing to Enid, Okla., and the NJCAA Division II World Series.