Top-ranked Jones sweeps past PRCC

Published 7:01 am Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TOUGH LOSS: Pearl River’s Jake Brumfield delivers a pitch in the Wildcats’ 3-2 loss to No. 1-ranked Jones County in the first game of an MACJC South Division doubleheader played Saturday in Poplarville. JCJC capped the sweep with a 4-1 victory in the nightcap game. Brumfield picked up his first mound loss of the season and is now 3-1. Photo by Mitch Deaver

TOUGH LOSS: Pearl River’s Jake Brumfield delivers a pitch in the Wildcats’ 3-2 loss to No. 1-ranked Jones County in the first game of an MACJC South Division doubleheader played Saturday in Poplarville. JCJC capped the sweep with a 4-1 victory in the nightcap game. Brumfield picked up his first mound loss of the season and is now 3-1.
Photo by Mitch Deaver

POPLARVILLE — Jones County extended Pearl River’s recent slump Saturday afternoon.

The visiting Bobcats, the top-ranked junior college team in the nation, swept a doubleheader from the Wildcats taking 3-2 and 4-1 decisions at Wildcat Stadium.

PRCC has now dropped eight straight games, and stands 11-11 overall and 0-4 in South Division play, and dropped to 0-4 in division play. JCJC, on the other hand, improved to 21-1 and 2-0 and should remain perched atop of the NJCAA Division II poll after the wins.

Since sweeping Bishop State (Ala.) on Feb. 28, the Wildcats have dropped four straight doubleheaders to non-division foe East Mississippi at Scooba, Illinois Central at home, and South Division rivals Copiah-Lincoln at Wesson and Jones. The visiting Bobcats’ sole loss of the season was to MACJC non-division road foe Northwest Mississippi 7-1 in Senatobia on March 3.

In Saturday’s first game which saw two rain delays, things were scoreless in the first, but Wildcat starter Jake Brumfield out of Adams Christian Academy in Natchez gave up a one-out double to Josh Pankratz and walked Kris Brown before Tyler Schankin singled to load the bases in the top of the second. Steven Stiglets followed with a two-run base hit, then Schankin scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-0.

After The River went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame, JCJC threatened in the top of the third. Brumfield gave up back-to-back one-out walks to Alex Shermer and Pankratz. After Chase Hensley lined out to short, the duo advanced on an error. With runners at second and third, Schankin lined out to first baseman Nathan Pugh of Starkville High, who made a spectacular stop to end the threat.

The 3-0 advantaged remained intact until the bottom of the seventh when PRCC lead off Derrick Mount of Harrison Central High crushed a double to left field, Pugh walked and Deanzel Johnson out of Lanier High in Jackson followed with a single to left to score Mount. After JCJC starter Westin Stringer retired Jacob Taylor of Picayune High, Garren Berry of Petal High was belted by a pitch to load the bases and Pugh scored from third when Kyle Dolan reached on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-2. With runners at first and third, Dolan was nailed at second off a fielder’s choice for the game-ending out.

Stringer (4-0) got the win in his six-and-a-third innings on the mound, giving up five hits, striking out five, and walking one, while Will Simon pitched the final two outs.

Brumfield (3-1) went the distance to pick up the loss, giving up a mere three hits, striking out six, and walking three.

Pankratz and Stiglets (two RBIs) both doubled for the Bobcats, while Schankin singled and Chris Morgan had an RBI.

Brown paced the Wildcats’ five-hit effort with two base hits, while Mount doubled, and Lamar Anthony of Vicksburg High and Johnson (one RBI) both singled. Dolan also had an RBI.

In the nightcap, both squads went three up, three down in the first, while Schankin had a two-out triple in the top of the second and Taylor singled for the Wildcats in the bottom of the frame.

The Bobcats put up three in the top of the third when Stiglets led off with a single to right and Chris Morgan reached on a bunt on the first of PRCC errors.

After Wildcat starter Brandon Pennington of Sumrall High struck out Jordan Stark, the base runners pulled off a double steal before Trent Giambrone cracked an RBI single for the first run of the game. Morgan then scored from third on a passed ball before Tyler Graves walked and Giambrone scored on Shermer’s ground out to second to make it 3-0.

Jones padded its lead with a solo run in the fifth when Stark reached on an error, moved to second on a passed ball and then to third on an error before Giambrone walked. Stark scored the Bobcats’ final run off Shermer’s sacrifice fly to center.

In the bottom of the frame, Kreg Garner of Northwest Rankin High smashed a two-out home run for the Wildcats’ only run of the contest.

Hensley (4-0) picked up the win in hurling the distance, giving up four hits and striking out six, while Pennington (2-1) got the loss in his six innings on the mound. He gave up five hits, struck out four, and walked two before Trevor Bennett of Hancock County High relieved in the seventh, giving up a hit and recording a strikeout.

Morgan paced JCJC’s six-hit attack with a double and a single, while Schankin tripled, and Giambrone (one RBI), Pankratz, and Stiglets all had base hits. Graves had an RBI.

PRCC finished with four hits, led by Garner’s homer (one RBI), while Johnson, Mount, and Taylor all had base hits.

Pearl River and Jones eye a South Division rematch doubleheader Wednesday, April 9 in Ellisville.

The River returns to action when it hosts South Division foe East Central Saturday in a 2 p.m. doubleheader before division rival Southwest Mississippi plays host in Summit Wednesday, March 26, with a 3 p.m. twin bill.