Bears come up short at Pearl River

Published 3:04 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Kicking off the final week of the regular season, the Bears made the trip southeast to Pearl River hoping to build off of improved play.

However, the Wildcats got the better of the Bears winning Game 1 9-5 before claiming the nightcap 14-3.

“We out-hit them in the first game but we just didn’t have the runs to show for it,” SMCC head coach Jack Edmondson said of Game 1. “We swung the bats really well but they just did a great job late in the game and scored runs. Take away the first inning (of Game 2) and we played really good.”

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In Game 1, the Bears (12-28, 7-19) had their bats going early with three singles through the first two innings. However, they could not take advantage and push any runs across.

The first runs of the game came via the hosts in the third on a two-run home run.

The deficit did not last long for Southwest. The Bears opened the third with back-to-back-to-back singles from Austin Samples, Hunter Harrell and Jerod Williams, loading the bases. Two batters later, all three — including Brady Wilson — touched home after the sophomore smashed a grand slam over the center field wall, putting Southwest up 4-2.

With the lead, Bear starter Josh Miller continued to pitch well. He picked up strikeouts two and three while also preventing the Wildcats from answering. Later on, Miller got praise from Coach Edmonson.

“Josh Miller threw a heck of a game,” Edmonson said. “He threw 6 and 2/3.”

Miller got additional help in the fifth when Wilson stepped up big for the Bears once again, this time with an RBI double to left, scoring Williams.

The Wildcats managed two runs in the sixth on RBI singles, with the latter making the score 5-4 in favor of Southwest. A rough outing in the seventh helped Pearl River not only regain the momentum, but also the lead as the hosts jumped ahead 9-5 on an RBI double and a three-run home run later in the inning.

The Bears tried to claw their way back into the game, but six of the last seven batters were retired in the final two innings, giving Pearl River the win.

Wilson had a huge game, going 3-for-4 with five RBIs and a run scored.

In Game 2, first inning struggles for the Bears proved to be the Achilles Heel. The Wildcats caught fire kept pouring it on, scoring 10 in the first inning.

Despite never giving up, the Bears found themselves in an even deeper hole in the third when a grand slam made the score 14-0. Southwest inched closer in the fifth on a two-RBI double by Braiden Jones. Later in the inning another run crossed the plate when Connor McHenry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Jones led the charge in Game 2 with a pair of hits and two RBIs.

The Bears will wrap the season Friday with a pair of contests at Northwest Mississippi.