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Summer league provides opportunities for baseball players

Baseball is back in Pearl River County thanks to the Deep South Collegiate League, which will be having games two days a week at Pearl River Community College.

The eight-team league is made up of a hodgepodge group of players ranging from recent high school graduates to seniors in college.

Action started June 13 with four games taking place at the Laurel Sports Complex, but the first games at PRCC took place Tuesday.

The first game started at 2:45 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m. game with a nightcap match up at 7:15.

Game 1 Team Caver vs. Team Crim

The first game of the day at PRCC was a blowout by Team Caver that saw them win 14-0 in just five innings due to the game being stopped because of the run rule.

PRCC freshman Shelby Terrell combined with Cole Sellers to pitch a shut out for team Caver, and went three innings while just allowing two walks, two hits and striking out five.

PRCC commit DK Donaldson was another bright spot for Team Caver going 2-3 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs.

PRCC freshman Nick Skaggs went 1-2 for Team Crim.

Game 2 Team Walker vs. Team McCarty

The first game of the doubleheader between the two squads ended with Team Walker earning a close 6-5 win.

PRCC freshman Eric Newsome went 0-3 for Team McCarty, but did draw a walk and recorded one RBI for his team.

PRCC commit Matt Mercer went 0-2 for Team Walker while recording a walk and RBI during his team’s win.

Meanwhile PRCC commit Mason Smith pitched 2 2/3 innings for Team McCarty, allowing two hits and one run with five strikeouts.

Game 3 Team Walker vs. Team McCarty

The second game of the doubleheader and the nightcap for the DSCL’s first night of action at PRCC saw the game end in a 5-5 tie after eight innings.

PRCC commit Turner Swistak took the mound for Team McCarty and pitched three innings with five hits, two runs, one walk and two strikeouts.

Meanwhile Mercer once again was effective at the plate for Team Walker going 1-3 with one RBI.

PRCC commit Logan Walters also contributed to Team Walker’s five run tally by going 1-3 with a run.

Blaine Crim, coach of Team Crim, is currently a player in the Texas Rangers organization and these DSCL games were his first foray into coaching, but he’s using his professional experience to help mold the younger players.

The athletes lost a good portion of their high school and college seasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so Crim is making sure his players understand how grateful they should be now that they’re back on the field.

“I want them to realize how special the game is and what it means to people. I would do anything to be in their shoes. I’ve been at points in my career where I’ve taken the game for granted and this is the ultimate time to not take baseball for granted,” Crim said.

Walker Watts coaches Team Walker and he said that even though the quality of baseball isn’t at it’s highest point currently, as the players spend more time on the field his athletes’ sharpness will return.
“You could tell everybody is a little rusty and hadn’t played in awhile, but give it another two weeks and everybody will be clicking like they’d never left,” Walker said.