By Creg Stephenson
The Mississippi Press
The same types of mistakes that handed Pearl River Central a victory over Pascagoula last Friday doomed the Blue Devils on Tuesday.
Pearl River Central made two costly errors during Pascagoula’s four-run fifth inning and lost 5-1 at Ingalls Field. The loss drops the Blue Devils to 10-5, 6-2 in region play.
PRC starter Chance Putnam allowed a first-inning run, but cruised through the next three frames before running into trouble in the Pascagoula fifth. Carlos Lott led off with a single, then took second on a bunt.
Slater McCarty walked, and Putnam hit Tracy Hadley to load the bases with one out. Pascagoula’s Adam Smith then hit a grounder to second, with Hadley forced at second and a run scoring to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
But PRC shortstop Dylan Spiers tried to catch McCarty off third and his throw hit Hadley — standing just a few feet away after getting up from his slide — in the head. McCarty scored easily to give Pascagoula 3-1 advantage, with PRC coach Neil Walther arguing in vain for an interference call.
Another Blue Devils error loaded the bases, and Pascagoula’s Andrew Crane followed with a double to make it 5-1. The Panthers ended the game with six hits against Putnam, who struck out six and took the loss.
Crane was the winning pitcher, allowing just a solo home run to Caleb Morales in the second inning. He ran out of gas in the sixth, however, loading the bases with one out.
Allen Cowart came on in relief and struck out two straight to end the threat. He put two runners on in the seventh, but got a line drive double play to end the game.
Pearl River Central had nine hits against Crane and Cowart, including at least one in each inning. But the Blue Deivls left nine runners on base, and had two others eliminated trying to take extra bases. Putnam had a double for the Blue Devils.
Pascagoula improves to 8-7, 6-2. The Panthers travel to Moss Point Thursday.
Spiers and Christian Travis each had two hits for PRC, which is at West Harrison on Thursday.
The game was a battle of league leaders. Both the Panthers and Blue Devils lead their respective divisions with 6-2 league marks as the teams begin playing within their own regions for the remainder of the season.