PRCC sweeps GC
Pearl River saw its post-season baseball playoff hopes get a huge shot in the arm here Wednesday, as the Wildcats swept the MACJC South Division leader Mississippi Gulf Coast 8-4 and 11-9.
PRCC improved to 25-19 overall and evened its division mark to 11-11 with the victories, while MGCCC dropped to 29-13 and 15-7.
All the Wildcats have to do is at least split with East Central in Saturday’s regular-season finale twin bill to edge out guarantee themselves a berth in next week’s best-of-three state playoff series against a North Division foe.
The Bulldogs remain the division leader with Hinds in second at 16-8, Jones County third at 12-10, Pearl River fourth at 11-11, Copiah-Lincoln fifth at 10-12, and East Central and Southwest Mississippi in the cellar at 7-15 each.
Gulf Coast wraps its regular season Saturday against Southwest Mississippi in Summit, while Hinds’ division schedule is over. Jones and Co-Lin close out their regular seasons against each other Saturday in Wesson in a doubleheader with huge ramifications.
Dustin Langley, a sophomore outfielder from Petal High, belted a sixth-inning grand slam homer to snap a 3-3 stalemate and propel PRCC to the win in the first game — just three days after his two-run double in the bottom of the eighth to give the Wildcats 5-4 nightcap win and a split in Saturday’s Jones County doubleheader.
“Our backs have been against the wall for the past couple of weeks,” head coach Jamie McMahon said. “Our split with Jones kept us alive and this sweep was a huge plus for our guys. If we can take care of business against East Central this weekend, we’re in (the playoffs).”
In the first game, Langley followed with a grand slam to snap the 3-3 stalemate in the fifth frame.
In the top of the seventh, back-to-back one-out doubles by Ethan Burt of Presbyterian Christian and Michael Lindsey of Petal High off reliever Joshua Warden made it 8-3 PRCC.
PRCC starter Josh Jones (3-3) picked up the win in his five-and-two-thirds innings on the mound, giving up four hits, striking out four and walking five; while Sean Kelly threw one-third of an inning and Wil Mann closed it out in the seventh.
Matt Discon paced the Wildcats’ nine-hit effort with a double and a single, while Ashley Graeter (two RBIs) and Langley (four RBIs) both homered, Burt and Lindsey (one RBI) both doubled, and Farrar, Jake Hawkins, and Tristan Rogers (one RBI) all had base hits.
In the nightcap, things were even early but in the top of the fourth, Burt smashed a three-run homer out of left center and Seth Edwards solo shot out of left put the Wildcats up for good at 5-2. PRCC added two in the fourth, three in the fifth, and one in the sixth to take command at 11-3.
Starter Jared Ashford of Baton Rouge, La. (3-2) got the win.
The Wildcats bombarded the Bulldogs with a whopping 16 hits, led by Burt’s homer, double, and single (three RBIs); while Rogers had three doubles (two RBIs). Edwards homered and singled (one RBI), Graeter doubled and singled (one RBI), Derek Tortorich of Pearl River Central had two base hits (one RBI), and Discon (two RBIs), Hawkins, Langley, and Alex Riser of Picayune High all singled.
PRCC and MGCCC split in a previous doubleheader played March 29 in Poplarville. The Bulldogs won the first game of the twin bill 7-3, while the Wildcats won the nightcap 11-7.
Pearl River wraps up its regular season Saturday when it plays host to division foe East Central in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.