PRC sweeps past Wayne County

Published 10:50 pm Saturday, April 21, 2007

The first round Class 4A South State baseball playoff series between Pearl River Central and Wayne County turned out to be decidedly one-sided.

The Blue Devils dominated the War Eagles.

PRC wrapped up the best of three series with a two game sweep, beating homestanding WCHS 8-1 Friday.

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The win moves the Blue Devils to 19-8, and sends PRC into the South State semifinals against D’Iberville this week. The first game is set for D’Iberville on Friday, with game two on Saturday in Carriere.

Wayne County ends the season at 25-11. Wayne County lost seven of its final nine games, including a 13-3 loss to PRC in game one of the series on Thursday.

Junior pitcher Paul Dillard moved to 8-1 on the year, with his second straight standout performance. He scattered six hits and barely missed a shutout, as the War Eagles managed to push across their lone run with one out in the seventh inning.

Dillard also shutdown Long Beach 4-2 in his last start, a game in which he returned to the mound after a two week absence due to a hand injury.

“When we needed him to step up the last two games, he really has,” PRC head coach Greg Lewis said. “You can’t ask for anything better than what he has given us the past two games.”

While Dillard was setting the pace on the hill, Josh Lee, Derek Penton and Mike Lehmann were providing support at the plate.

Lee had a game high three hits, including a two run single in the third inning, and Penton smacked a two run home run, his first of the season.

Lehmann cracked his seventh homer, a solo shot in a two run first, for his second straight game with a round-tripper.

The Blue Devils waste no time in taking a lead they would never relinquish, as Heath Graham drove in Lee who had doubled just before that. Graham was picked off base, but Lehmann followed with his circuit clout.

Up 5-0, PRC put the game away with a three run fifth that included Penton’s homer.

“We have been hitting the ball pretty well lately,” Lewis added. “I hope we can keep getting timely hits in key situations.”

Also, to show that it was truly a team effort, in addition to the hitting and Dillard’s pitching, the Blue Devil defense played error free ball and turned three double plays on the night.

“The defense worked really hard behind him, and once we got a few runs early for him he really settled in,” Lewis concluded.

D’Iberville advanced with a two game sweep of Brookhaven, winning 5-4 on Thursday and 1-0 on the road on Friday. The Warriors are the Division 7-4A champions and stand 23-11 on the year.