Warriors look to derail Blue Devils

Published 6:13 pm Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pearl River Central and D’Iberville couldn’t wait to get their Division 8-4A rivalry going. So the teams decided to start it a year early.

Next season, the Warriors and Blue Devils will be among those teams expected to vie for the league title, as D’Iberville, a long time member of Division 7-4A, will swap leagues and begin play in Division 8-4A in all sports.

But beginning Friday, the Blue Devils and Warriors hook up in a series that could be bigger than any the teams play next season.

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The two teams begin a best-of-three series in the Class 4A South State semifinals, with a 7 p.m., contest at D’Iberville.

Game two is set for Saturday at 1 p.m., in Carriere, at the PRC Sports Complex. And a third and deciding game, if needed, will take place one week from today back in Harrison County at 7 p.m.

Pearl River Central stands 19-7 on the season and won the Division 8-4A title with a three game sweep in the league’s postseason tourney, after finishing second to Long Beach in the regular season.

D’Iberville, meanwhile, took much the same route, as the Warriors finished second in Division 7-4A regular season play to East Central but swept their way through the postseason tournament to capture the league crown.

The Warriors, in fact, coached by veteran Eddie Wayne Whitehead, are one of the hottest prep baseball teams in the state as they have won 16 of their last 17 games and stand 23-11 on the year.

At one point, D’Iberville stood 7-10 on the season before getting on its recent tear.

PRC is expected to send ace pitcher Mike Lehmann (8-2 on the season) to the hill in game one, and follow that by sending Paul Dillard (8-2) to the mound Saturday afternoon at home.

D’Iberville is expected to counter with either Clayton Seymour (8-2) or Zach Toney (6-3) in game one with the other getting the call in the second game.

The Warriors are coming off a sweep of Brookhaven in the first round of the playoffs last week, winning game one at home 5-4 behind Seymour, while taking game two 1-0 on the road 1-0 thanks to a two hit shutout twirled by the southpaw Toney.