Devils move to game 3 in the series after losing 9-2 to Oxford Friday
Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 20, 2017
PEARL — Pearl River Central’s Blue Devils lost the second game of the State Championship series Friday afternoon.
Hayden Dunhurst extended his hit-streak to 13 consecutive games with an RBI single in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead Friday. Unfortunately, PRC would not see another run until the sixth inning while conceding nine runs in that span to lose 9-2 in game two.
“Today came down to errors and we just couldn’t finish our plays,” PRC Head Coach Neil Walther said.
Hayden LeBeau took the mound for his last time as a Blue Devil, starting slow but finishing with strikeouts when PRC needed them most. However, the senior couldn’t get a break and was taken off the mound in the top of the fourth.
“Hayden is one of the guys that made his mark on Blue Devil baseball and is a main reason we are here today competing for a State Championship,” Walther said. “It was not an easy decision to take him out.”
After allowing Oxford to tie the game in the second inning, the Blue Devils found it hard to spur the defense, making careless errors that steered the Devils in the wrong direction, falling 5-1 in the fifth inning.
Oxford continued to put pressure on the South State Champions, pushing its lead to 9-1 after an RBI double from Duncan Graeber, a walk with bases loaded and a wild pitch that also resulted in an Oxford run.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, down by eight runs, PRC lead-off batter Josh Kennedy singled in left field following Zach Roussell, who singled a hit into right field to jump start a Blue Devil rally. Then, senior Connor Holston stepped up to the plate for the first time Friday, cranking a single to left field to load the bases for Tristan Schlottmann. However, PRC did not have enough stamina to get back into the game as Oxford forced the series to require a game three.
Walther said the Devils will enter game three of the State Championship with the same mentality they started the series.
“We got to rely on each other and come ready to play. The kids do a great job of that and it gives us confidence in our game. We’ll be ready to give it our all tomorrow,” Walther said.
PRC will face Oxford in game three Saturday at 7 p.m. to decide who will become the 5A State Champion.