PRC beats Long Beach

Published 4:35 pm Thursday, April 5, 2007

Pearl River Central took a big step towards repeating as regular season champs in Division 8-4A Tuesday night.

The Blue Devils, behind a strong pitching performance from Mike Lehmann, beat league-leading and homestanding Long Beach 3-1 in a big division showdown.

The win pushes PRC to 9-2 in the league, and hands the Bearcats their first division loss of the season in nine games. PRC, which is 13-7 overall, has also won eight straight division games.

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Lehmann scattered four hits in earning the win, and moving to 6-2 on the season. He struck out six in going the distance, and didn’t allow the Bearcats to score until there were two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Lehmann and Long Beach ace Craig McKay were hooked up in a pitchers duel throughout the contest, and the game was scoreless after four frames.

PRC’s Jordy Meadows was hit by a McKay pitch with one out in the fifth, and Ram Miller later plated pinch runner Cody Dillard with an RBI-double for the game’s first run.

The Blue Devils would then add single runs in the final two frames as well, to take the win.

Heath Graham, who led PRC at the plate with two doubles, got his second in the sixth and came around to score on a Bearcat throwing error.

Kyle Pearson led off the seventh with a walk, advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and then scored when the ball got away from the Long Beach catcher with two outs.

PRC managed just the trio of doubles off McKay, the tough luck loser.

The teams are set to meet again in Carriere on Thursday at 7 p.m., in what is a winner take all game for PRC. A Blue Devil win would give them the division title and with it the right to host the league postseason tournament, set for next week.