No. 2 Pearl River earns split against No. 7 Meridian
Published 3:00 pm Thursday, April 8, 2021
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 2 Pearl River baseball team turned in a good effort in Game 2 on Tuesday to earn a split against No. 7 Meridian. After falling 5-2 in Game 1, the Wildcats took the nightcap 4-1.
“I thought we played good in the second game,” said coach Michael Avalon. “You’ve got to give that team credit. Good teams don’t make it easy to play against them.”
Meridian (20-8 overall; 12-6 MACCC) jumped on Pearl River (24-6; 14-4) early in game one going ahead 2-0 on a single.
Both teams went quietly over the next two innings, but the Wildcats cut the deficit to just one in the fifth. Austen Izzio (Carriere; Pearl River Central) doubled to plate Von Seibert (Mobile, Ala.; Daphne), making the score 2-1.
The Eagles plated two more runs in the sixth with a two-run single to increase their lead to 4-1.
MCC added an insurance run in the eighth on an infield single to go ahead 5-1.
PRCC got one run back in the bottom half of the eight when Tate Parker (Gulfport; West Harrison) hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Nick Skaggs (Biloxi), cutting the deficit to three at 5-2.
Pearl River tried to rally back in the ninth. Matt Mercer (Petal) reached base on a bunt single, and Dalton Cummins (Seminary) followed him up with a walk, but Meridian closed out the game to win it 5-2.
Izzio led the team in hits with two. Cummins walked three times, and Graham Crawford (Sumrall) walked twice.
Sam Hill (Soso; West Jones) started the game for the Wildcats, throwing 1 2/3 innings and allowing two runs.
Reid Reynolds (Heidelberg; Northeast Jones) pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief, allowing three hits and two runs. He struck out six batters. Dakota Lee (Purvis) pitched the last four innings of the contest allowing just one run on five hits while striking out six.
The Wildcats flipped the script in game two, grabbing the first two runs of the contest in the first inning.
Parker grounded a ball to shortstop, but the Meridian defender let it go right under his glove to plate Skaggs. Two batters later, Kasey Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) lined a ball into right field for an RBI single making the game 2-0.
The Eagles cut the Wildcat lead in half in the fourth inning, plating a run on a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-1.
PRCC added its last two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to go ahead 4-1 on a two-run single by John Griffin Bell (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy).
A string of seven consecutive strikeouts and a 1-2-3 top of the seventh from Landon Gartman (Bogue Chitto; Enterprise) helped the Wildcats cruise to a victory in game two, 4-1.
Gartman had a phenomenal outing on the mound for the Wildcats, throwing all seven innings of the contest for the complete game. He allowed just one run on three hits while striking out 12 batters. He allowed no walks.
“If I can give an example of who we want to be as a program, it’s Landon Gartman,” said Avalon. “He had his back against the wall after we didn’t play well in game one, and he turned in a complete performance.”
The Wildcats will travel to Itawamba on Saturday for a doubleheader. The games will begin at 2 p.m.