Rebuilding on tap for PRC

Published 6:59 am Friday, May 16, 2014

CARRIERE — Pearl River Central set a school record this season for most wins in a baseball season.

After finishing 23-8, however, the Blue Devils still have to feel like they missed a chance to make even more history

West Jones swept PRC out of the playoffs earlier this week, taking two straight games in the best-of-three Class 5A South State semifinal series. The Mustangs who will face East Central for the South State championship, denied the Blue Devils their first ever appearance in the South State finals.

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“It was a successful season, but obviously it’s disappointing to end it like that,” PRC head coach Neil Walther, who just completed his seventh season at the helm of the Blue Devils, said. “Especially because we had opportunities against West Jones, we just didn’t get the timely hits when we needed them. And we didn’t play defense well at times like I know we can.

“We just feel like we missed a really good chance to move on and perhaps get a chance at playing for the state championship.”

The Blue Devils will have to replace a star-studded senior class, one that included Dylan Spiers, Chance Putnam and Christian Smith as well as fellow starters Christian Travis, Kaleb Morales and Jake Schuermann. Stetson Smith, Blake Caruso and Dylan Mitchell round out the class.

“We’ve been to the playoffs four straight years, so I think PRC is relevant in baseball, and I want us to stay that way,” Walther said. “We have a lot of key guys to replace, but we have some younger guys that stepped up this season also. We just have to keep building on that.”