No. 7 Pearl River scores in bunches, sweeps Co-Lin

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 11, 2021

WESSON, Miss. — The No. 7 Pearl River Wildcats scored early and often Tuesday as they swept Copiah-Lincoln on the road. PRCC picked up a 10-2 victory in seven innings to open the day and then 14-4 in six innings.

“I guess the old saying is hitting is contagious. That’s what this group has shown so far this year,” Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. “When we get going, good things happen.”

The sweep marks the first time the Wildcats (6-0 overall) have opened a season with six wins during the Avalon era.

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The sweep also gives Pearl River seven straight victories over Copiah-Lincoln.

After a pair of quiet innings to open the game, Pearl River jumped on the Wolves (2-4) in the third with a trio of runs.

After Taylor Woodcock (Pass Christian; West Harrison) led off the frame with a double, a trio of consecutive RBI-singles from Tate Parker (Gulfport; West Harrison), Kasey Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) and Von Seibert (Mobile, Ala.; Daphne) gave PRCC a 3-0 lead. After Seibert scored on a passed ball, Austen Izzio (Carriere; Pearl River Central) grounded out to score Graham Crawford (Sumrall) for a 5-0 lead. 

Pearl River scored a sixth run in the inning on another passed ball that allowed Eric Newsom (Madison; Germantown) to score.

After two more scoreless frames, PRCC tacked on two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings.

Seibert led off the sixth with a solo home run, his fifth of the young season. Izzio later singled in Crawford for an 8-0 advantage.

Co-Lin got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, but PRCC responded with another two spot in the seventh courtesy of a two-run homer from Parker. 

Freshman Turner Swistak (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) turned in another gem in his second collegiate start. The right-hander pitched five scoreless frames, striking out three against two hits and one walk.

“He commands the fastball. It’s heavy with good action,” Avalon said. “He pounded the zone and was electric.”

Although Byrion Robinson (Brookhaven) surrendered two runs in his inning of relief work, he also struck out a pair.

Landon Rawson (Kosciusko; Central Holmes Academy) struck out two in his inning of work as well.

Seibert was a double shy of hitting for the cycle, going 4-for-5 with a triple, homer, two RBIs and two runs scored.

John Griffin Bell (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy), Woodcock, Parker, Crawford and Izzio each had two hits. Parker finished with three RBIs. 

The Wildcats’ attack was unrelenting in Game 2.

After Parker scored on a wild pitch, Matt Mercer (Petal) doubled in PRCC’s second run of the first for an early 2-0 lead. Bell singled in another run in the second. Mercer hit his second homer in as many starts to open the scoring in the top of the third and then Nick Skaggs (Biloxi) doubled in PRCC’s fifth run of the game for a 5-0 advantage.

The Wolves plated three in the third, but Pearl River responded in the fourth. The Wildcats loaded the bases and then Donaldson singled the other way, driving in two for a 7-3 lead.

The Wildcats weren’t done there in the fourth. Izzio singled in a run and then Skaggs worked a bases-loaded walk to plate PRCC’s ninth run of the game and fourth of the inning.

Bell got in on the long ball action in the fourth, belting a grand slam. Bell’s first homer of the season gave the visitors a 13-3 lead.

“I was just trying to see something down the middle to hit,” Bell said. “It’s a lot easier when you have eight other guys behind you who you know can hit.

The Wolves avoided being run-ruled in the fifth by scrapping for a single run in the frame. PRCC got the run back in the sixth on a ground out by Ryan Burt (Columbus; New Hope) that scored Parker from second.

Landon Gartman (Bogue Chitto; Enterprise) struck out five, surrendering three runs on three hits and three walks.

Landon Harper (Lauderdale; Northeast Lauderdale), Newsom and Trace McNabb (Foxworth; West Marion) also pitched.

Harper struck out three in his inning, while Newsom and McNabb combined for two more.

Parker led PRCC with a 4-for-5 day with two doubles and three RBIs. 

“He’s a special, special player. That’s why he’s in our three-hole every day,” Avalon said. “That’s just Tate. That dude can flat out hit.”

Mercer, Skaggs and Bell each had two hits.

Tuesday was a memorable day for Gartman. In addition to pitching well in Wesson, the right-hander was named the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference Pitcher of the Week.

In his season debut, a 9-1 win over East Central on Opening Day, Gartman struck out six over four scoreless innings. Against the Warriors, Gartman scattered four hits and no walks. 

Most home events will be broadcast at but in some instances where multiple teams are at home, PRCC will also have a feed on its auxiliary channel at Fans who have Roku or Amazon Fire devices can also watch the Wildcats on their televisions by downloading the “Pearl River CC” channel from their app store.