Again, PRC defends division title

Published 7:54 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It took about 48 hours more than Pearl River Central thought it would, but the Blue Devils are now officially the Division 8-4A champions again.

PRC beat homestanding Long Beach Monday 13-0 in the finals of he Division 8-4A Tournament, giving the Blue Devils back-to-back league titles.

PRC thought it had won the title Saturday afternoon, after what was supposed to be the final day of play in the event was rained out. But on Sunday, after apparently some grumbling from some Long Beach parents, MHSAA Director Ennis Proctor mandated that the tourney be finished even though all of the league’s coaches had agreed several months ago that the event would end on Saturday and not be extended into this week because of the state playoffs beginning Thursday.

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“It’s about the integrity of the game,” Proctor said, late Sunday night. “If they decide to play a tournament then they need to finish it.”

And that’s exactly what PRC did Monday, and quickly.

The Blue Devils scored eight runs in the first to take a commanding lead and never looked back.

Matt Discon and Kyle Pearson each drove in four runs apiece in the win, and Mike Lehmann tossed three shutout innings for the win. “Really, we wanted to win it on the field and not have it given to us,” Discon, who also smacked a first inning home run, said. “We showed we deserve it and we’re the best team in the district.”

Both Discon and Lehmann had three hits apiece in the win, while Pearson and Jordy Meadows added two hits apiece. Lehmann had two doubles and drove in two runs, while Paul Dillard drove in a pair of runs as well and Derek Penton had an RBI.

“We wanted to put them away as quick as possible and get it over with,” Lehmann added. “We’re ready for the playoffs.”

Lehmann, Blake Herrin and Sean Kelly all combined on a one hit shutout.

“We didn’t want them to hang around and get some confidence,” PRC head coach Greg Lewis said. “Matt set the table early for us and we got off to a quick start.”

The Blue Devils now set their sights on the Class 4A state playoffs, which begin Thursday. PRC gets Wayne County in the opening round, and will host the War Eagles in game one before travelling to Waynesboro for game two on Friday. A third game, if needed, will take place on Saturday back in Carriere.