Wildcats sweep two

Published 4:58 am Friday, April 3, 2009

Special to the Item

DECATUR — Matt Discon belted a grand slam home run in the top of the seventh inning to propel Pearl River’s Wildcats to an 11-9 victory over host East Central in the first half of an MACJC South Division baseball doubleheader here Wednesday.

PRCC went on to win the nightcap of the twin bill 8-1 behind starter Kye Wilson’s two-hitter and the Wildcats improved to 17-13 overall and 5-7 in division play. Pearl River’s division mark spells a three-way tie for fourth place in the South with Copiah-Lincoln and East Central.

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Mississippi Gulf Coast and Hinds, which hosts Pearl River Saturday in a 1 p.m. doubleheader in Raymond, are tied for first place in the division with 8-4 marks, while Jones County is close behind at 7-5. Southwest Mississippi is the lone cellar-dweller at 4-8.

The top four finishers in the North and South divisions will earn post-season berths in May 1-2’s MACJC playoff series, which will determine the berths for the MACJC State Tournament set for May 7-9 at the top seeded South Division school.

In the first game, Pearl River went up 2-0 in the top of the first, but East Central answered with a solo run in the bottom of the frame, then added four in the second to take a 5-2 lead after two.

The Wildcats answered with a two-run homer by Alex Riser of Picayune High in the top of the third to cut the Warriors’ lead to one, but ECCC’s four-run effort in the bottom of the frame made it 9-4 heading into the fifth.

Discon, a sophomore who prepped at Pearl River Central, smashed his first homer of the game in the fourth inning to make it 9-5, then PRCC scored a pair of runs in the sixth to cut East Central’s lead to two. That set the stage for Discon’s game-winning belt.

Nicholls State signee Ryan Norton of Oak Grove (2-0) got the win after relieving in the third, striking out one; while Jared Ashford of Baton Rouge, La., started and went one inning, striking out one and walking one, before Bryn Whitehead of Sumrall High (one strikeout, three walks) and Brett Blaise of Columbus (three walks) both saw relief duty in the second.

Quin Stokes got the loss after relieving in the sixth, striking out one, walking two, and hitting two batters; while Steven Barnes started and went four innings, striking out five and walking five, before Tim Maloney (one strikeout) and Eric Dowelll (one strikeout) both relieved in the fifth, and Drew Wilson closed it out in the seventh.

Discon’s two dingers paced Pearl River’s 11-hit attack, while Zach Farrar of Brandon and Derek Tortorich (two RBIs) of Pearl River Central both doubled and singled. Adrian Lee of Forrest County AHS and Tristan Rogers of Houma, La., had two singles each, while Riser homered (two RBIs).

East Central finished with nine hits, led by Daniel Eichelberger’s homer and single (two RBIs), while Tyler Davis doubled and singled, Clint Coleman doubled, and Drew Bruhl, ZeEricka Hall, Jeremy May, and Kylie Ming all had base hits.

Each team committed one error in the game.

In the nightcap, PRCC went up 2-0 in the top of the first, then added two more in the fourth and four in the sixth before ECCC scored its only run in the bottom of the sixth off back-to-back doubles by Eichelberger and Hall.

Wilson, a sophomore from Winnsboro, La., improved to 2-1 in going the distance, striking out seven, walking six, and hitting one batter; while East Central starter Lance Gibson went five innings, striking out five and walking one, before Wilson relieved in the sixth and Dowell in the seventh.

Eichelberger’s and Hall’s (one RBI) doubles accounted for the Warriors’ two hits, while Rogers paced the Wildcats’ 12-hit barrage with three singles (one RBI). Discon (one RBI) and Whitehead had two singles each, while Ashley Graeter of Poplarville High tripled, Lee (three RBIs) and Riser both doubled, and Jake Hawkins of Sumrall High and Tortorich (one RBI) had singles.

Pearl River committed one error in the game to East Central’s five.

Following Saturday’s road trip to Hinds, the Wildcats play host to defending Region 23 champion LSU-Eunice in a 2 p.m. doubleheader Sunday, then Baton Rouge CC visits Tuesday for a 4 p.m. twin bill.