From staff and special reports
The Picayune Item
Ninth-ranked Pearl River secured the 2013 regular-season MACJC South Division baseball title here Saturday with a 9-0, 8-5 doubleheader sweep over Southwest Mississippi. PRCC, which wrapped its regular season at 36-10 overall and 19-5 in division play with the wins, will host North No. 4 Itawamba next Friday and Saturday in one of four MACJC best-of-three playoff series in Wildcat Stadium in Poplarville.
Other playoff series see South No. 2 East Central (26-19) hosting North No. 3 Mississippi Delta (24-18) in Decatur, North No. 1 Northeast Mississippi (28-15) hosting South No. 4 Mississippi Gulf Coast (25-19) in Booneville, and North No. 2 Northwest Mississippi (27-14) hosting South No. 3 and 19th-ranked Jones County (28-19) in Senatobia.
The series’ winners earn berths in May 10-12's MACJC State Tournament set for the home field of the highest-seeded South Division series’ winner. Should no South team win its series, the tournament will be played at the highest seeded North series’ winner.
Southwest wrapped its season with the losses at 19-27 and 8-16. The Bears feature four players that played high school ball in Pearl River County. Picayune’s Mrvin Van Buren, J.D. Stockstill and Caleb Crumpler as well as Colton Lee of Pearl River Central.
In Saturday’s first game of the twin bill, it was all Pearl River. The Wildcats scored a solo run in the top of the first before adding two in the third, two in the fifth, and four in the sixth.
Wildcat starter Brandon Fry (6-0), a Southern Miss signee who prepped at Nease High in Jacksonville, Fla., gave up a meager three hits in his five innings on the mound, striking out two and walking one.
Bear starter Dylan Gregoire (3-4) got the loss in his six innings of work, giving up 10 hits, striking out two, and walking two; while J.D. Stockstill pitched the seventh.
Ole Miss signee Braxton Lee of Picayune High paced the Wildcats at the plate with a triple and two singles (two RBIs), while Darius Knight of Pearl River tripled and singled (two RBIs) and Paul Pickerrell out of John Hardin High in Elizabethtown, Ky., had two base hits (one RBI). Darien Brown of Hattiesburg High, Forrest Dungan of Columbia High, and Krisjon Wilkerson out of St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis (two RBIs) all had base hits.
In the nightcap contest, Pearl River went up 3-0 in the top of the first only to see Southwest tie it up in the bottom of the frame before taking a 5-2 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second.
The Wildcats answered with two in the top of the third to tie things up at 5-5 before adding three in the fourth for the final runs of the game.
Anthony Lusco (2-0) of Bay High got the mound win in relief of starter Jake Brumfield out of Adams Christian Academy in Natchez in the second inning. Lusco pitched two-and-a-third, giving up two hits, striking out one, and walking a batter; while Brumfield went one-and-two-thirds, giving up eight hits and recording a strikeout.
Phillip Chandler of Stone County High pitched the fifth, striking out one; while Cameron Reynolds of Gulfport High pitched the sixth, striking out two. Nicholls State (La.) signee Ryan Deemes out of Holy Cross High in Chalmette, La., closed it out in the seventh, giving up a hit.
Colton Lee (1-2) got the loss after relieving in the fourth, pitching two innings and giving up two hits
Pickerrell paced the Wildcats’ eight-hit effort with a double and a single (one RBI), while Knight had two base hits (one RBI), Derek Martin of Poplarville High (one RBI) and Wilkerson (three RBIs) both doubled, and Kollin Cannon of St. Stanislaus and Dungan (one RBI) both singled.