PRC’s baseball team wins first district game of the season

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 15, 2018

CARRIERE — In a game that featured two teams who have met in the Class 5A South State Championship series the last two years, the Blue Devils defeated the Tigers 10-9 Tuesday night.

At the beginning of the third inning, Pearl River Central held a 5-0 lead but runs scored by Caleb Tart, Jay Reedy, KaDarius Hicks, Joseph Gray, Dexter Jordan and Kameron Wells gave Hattiesburg a 6-5 advantage.

In the bottom of the third, PRC’s Mason Treat, Tristan Schlottman and Hayden Duhurst were walked, putting the Blue Devils in a bases loaded and two outs situation. The next batter, Blaine Catoire, was walked, allowing Treat to score and tie the game at six runs.

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The Tigers (8-3, 1-1 Region 7-5A) were unable to score in the top of the fourth when PRC’s pitcher Rigell Robinson struck out two batters and Hattiesburg’s Hicks was tagged while attempting to reach third.

During the bottom of the fourth inning, after Josh Kennedy and Zach Roussell were walked, Treat bunted the ball but an error at first base by Hattiesburg’s Jordan, allowed Kennedy to score, giving the Blue Devils a 7-6 lead. After two wild pitches by the Tigers’ Gray, Rousell and Treat scored for PRC to increase the team’s lead to 9-6.

After both team went scoreless in the fifth inning, PRC’s Hayden Dunhurst connected on a homerun in the bottom of the sixth inning, increasing the Blue Devils’s lead to 10-6.

With one inning left in the game, Hattiesburg’s Wells scored after AJ Stinson was tagged out at first base.

One play later, Letrelle Johnson also scored for the Tigers after a base hit by Cam Lott.

With only one out in the inning and runners on first and second, PRC’s Kennedy stepped up to the mound to bring the game to an end. Two batters later with the bases loaded, Lott scored for Hattiesburg but batter Adrian Felts was tagged out at first. After Kennedy walked Gray, he struck out Hattieburg’s Jordan, ending the game.

“It takes more than nine guys to win a ball game and we had guys step up all over the field tonight,” PRC Head Baseball Coach Neil Walther said. “Catoire, who is a player that doesn’t get to play too much, made two game-saving catches at first base and that was huge for us. I’m confident that we’ll be ready to face Hattiesburg again later this week.”

With the bases loaded in the first inning of the game, Dunhurst gave PRC (10-0, 1-0 Region 7-5A) an early lead after Robert Shoemake was walked. In the next inning, a triple by Austen Izzio allowed Schlottman and Rousell to score and give PRC a 3-0 lead. Later in the inning, a wild pitch by Hattiesburg’s Gray allowed Izzio to score and Dunhurst to reach first base. One batter, Eli Lee stepped up to the plate and even though he was tagged out at first, Lee suffered a non-contact knee injury during the play and was forced to sit out the rest of the game.

“We’re going to take it easy the next two days and see how he will be, we’re not going to rush him back to field,” Walther said regarding Lee’s injury. “He’s a huge part of our team and we need him on the lineup and he’s confident he’ll be back by the next game, but if not, we’ll nurse him back to health because this is a long season.”

Dunhurst scored one more run for the Blue Devils in the second inning after Hattiesburg’s first baseman Wells failed to catch the ball in an attempt to tag out Shoemake.

For PRC, Dunhurst went 1-for-1 with a homerun and two RBIs, Izzio was 2-for-5, with a double, a triple and two RBIs and Shoemake batted 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Robinson pitched for six innings, allowing eight hits, six runs and striking out eight batters. Kennedy pitched for 2/3 of an inning and allowed one hit and struck out one batter.

The Blue Devils will be resume play either Thursday or Friday, depending on the weather, when they’ll travel to Hattiesburg and take on the Tigers for the second time in the same week.