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SECL using longer games to make up for rainouts

Tuesday evening, the Royals took on the Giants in a nine-inning game as part of the Southeast Collegiate League after both teams had multiple games cancelled the week before because of inclement weather.

Former Pearl River Central players Hayden Dunhurst and Austen Izzio helped lead the Royals to a walk off 6-5 victory over the Giants.

The scoring didn’t start until the third inning when the Giants took advantage of some wild pitches to score two runs.

The Royals responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Two more runs crossed the plate in the top of the fifth inning for the Giants to build a 4-1 lead.

Then the comeback began for the Royals in the bottom of the seventh with Izzio playing a big role.

First he drove in Brady Logan to cut the Giants’ lead down to one run.

Then, after stealing a base, Izzio scored on an error to bring the Royals within one run of the Giants.

One more run for the Royals tied the game at 4-4 heading into the eighth inning.

The Giants retook the lead once again on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth inning as the Royals’ chances of earning a win seemed to have disappeared.

However, in the bottom of the ninth, things started clicking for the Royals.

Izzio singled after a Logan double, and the two players took advantage of a wild pitch by the Giants as Logan scored while Izzio advanced to third base.

Then a walk off single by Matt Taylor led to Izzio scoring the winning run for the Royals.

Izzio filled up the stat sheet going 3-3 at the plate with two runs, one RBI and two stolen bases.

Dunhurst went 0-3 at the plate, but a win is a win and Head Coach Bob Dunhurst said his players may have started getting a little too aggressive in the batter’s box at certain points in the game.

It’s not a bad thing to look for hits, but Bob Dunhurst said overconfidence could sometimes be an issue if a player has been on fire offensively in recent games.

“If they have success they try to do a little more than you should and that’s always an adjustment. When things are going good you try to do a little more instead of taking the blessing at hand,” Bob Dunhurst said.

The head coach said his players have enjoyed being back on the field, even in the Mississippi heat, after having their seasons cancelled by COVID-19.

“It’s giving those guys something to do every day, something they love to do, and it’ll take their mind off all the junk going on in the world. It’s straight joy. It was (hot) when we started playing, but those kids just can’t wait to get out there. Just to see the relief out there and the chance of getting back to normal makes it worth it,” Bob Dunhurst said.