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Jones sweeps Pearl River 11-2, 6-3 in ‘Cat Fight II

Jones County’s Bobcats swept Pearl River’s Wildcats in ‘Cat Fight II here Wednesday with 11-2 and 6-3 MACJC South Division victories.

PRCC dropped to 21-13 overall and 7-7 in division play, while JCJC, which smacked a combined 26 hits in the twin bill, improved to 25-11  and 12-4.

The two teams split in an earlier meeting played March 19 in Ellisville with the Bobcats taking a 6-2 win in the first game of the twin bill before the Wildcats rebounded with a 5-3 decision in the nightcap.

In Wednesday’s first game, Pearl River went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first when James Abraham, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer who  prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, drew a one-out walk, stole second base, and scored off a bloop single to right by B.J. Smith of Sumrall High. After Grae Ormon of Clinton High reached on an error, JCJC starter Andrew Pierce struck out Chase Lewallen  of Sumrall High to end the inning.

But the Bobcats quickly tied it up. Lead off Vito Perna doubled to right center field, moved to second and third off a ground out and a line out, and scored when Ryan Waters reached on an error before Graham Odom lined to second for the final out.

The River went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame before Jones County took the lead for good in the top of the third.

Wildcat starter Taylor Byrd of Petal High walked lead off batter Zach Allen, then Ladd Rhodes outran a bunt to first. Allen moved to third  on Chad Guice’s fly out, setting the stage for Nick Ray’s two-run double to center. After Perna struck out, Darion Hamilton smacked an RBI double to left to make it 4-1 before Chase Headrick grounded to second for the final out.

PRCC scored what would be its final run of the game in the bottom of the inning. Abraham got things rolling when he cracked a one-out,  up-the-middle single , stole second an out later, and scored off Smith’s single. Ormon grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Bobcats left runners stranded at second and third in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, while the Wildcats did the same in the bottom of the fourth.

In the top of the sixth, lead off Odom reached on an error and moved to second off Allen’s sacrifice bunt before Rhodes walked. That prompted the mound exit of Byrd for Josh Hubbell of Forrest County AHS who walked Guice to load the bases. Hubbell then left the mound for Southeastern Louisiana signee Buck Bernard of Petal High who walked Ray to push in the Bobcats’ fifth run.

Bernard was immediately relieved by Hunter Curtis of Petal High who struck out Perna before giving up a two-run single to right to make  it 7-2 before Headrick grounded to the pitcher for the final out.

The Wildcats went three up, three down in the bottom of the sixth and seventh; while Jones County added its final four runs in the top of the final frame.

Roberts led off the inning with a walk, Odom singled to center, and Roberts’ courtesy runner Jarrett Jenkins scored off Allen’s single. An out later, Guice singled to load the bases before Ray struck out, but Perna followed with a two-run base hit. Hamilton drove in the final run with a single before Headrick flew to center for the final out.

Pierce (6-1) got the win in going the distance, giving up five hits, striking out five, and walking one; while Byrd (4-3) got the loss  in his five-and-one-thirds innings on the mound. He gave up seven hits, struck out three, and walked three; while Hubbell and Bernard each walked the only batter they faced in the sixth. Curtis gave up five hits, struck out two, and walked one.

Hamilton paced the Bobcats’ 13-hit attack with a double and three singles (four RBIs), while Perna doubled and had two singles (two RBIs), Ray doubled (three RBIs), and Allen (one RBI), Guice,  Odom, Rhodes, and Roberts (one RBI) all had base hits.

Smith led the Wildcats with two singles (two RBIs), while Abraham, Lee, and Sanders all had base hits.

PRCC committed three errors in the game to JCJC’s two.

In the nightcap game, Pearl River left runners at first and third in the bottom of the first; but Jones County took the lead for good with a solo run in the top of the second.

After Wildcat starter Robert Marzoni of Purvis High struck out lead off Hamilton, Headrick smacked a single to right and Odom followed  suit with a base hit to right an out later. Allen answered with an RBI double down the left field line to make it 1-0 before Rhodes grounded to second for the final out.

Pearl River returns to action Thursday when it travels to Baton Rouge CC in Baton Rouge, La., for a 4 p.m. doubleheader, then resumes MACJC South Division action Saturday when Southwest Mississippi visits for a 1 p.m. twin bill.