No. 5 Pearl River’s comeback bid falls short against No. 1 LSU Eunice

Published 12:53 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023


EUNICE, La. — The matchup between the last two NJCAA National Champions was the battle that everyone expected. The No. 5 Pearl River baseball found itself down early and gave it a great effort, but its comeback attempt fell short against No. 1 LSU Eunice, 6-4.

“The guys played really hard. I made some really bad moves,” Pearl River coach Michael AValon said. “That all falls on me. This one stings, but it’ll motivate us. I’ll take this group any day of the week. I’m gonna make sure we’re ready to go tomorrow.”

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LSU Eunice (51-3 overall) jumped in front of the Wildcats (44-12) in the first inning with a three-spot, 3-0. After the frame, Pearl River starter Cooper Cooksey (Waveland; Bay) settled in on the mound and kept the Bengals off the scoreboard over the next three innings.

PRCC clawed within a run in the fourth inning. The first batter of the inning, Triston Hickman (Wiggins; Stone County), took the first two pitches of his at-bat before sending a no-doubter over the left field wall, 3-1. Blaise Breerwood (Poplarville) kept the rally going by lacing a ball down the left field line and legging out a double. Parker Ryan (Madison; Jackson Academy) brought him home after slashing a ground ball into center field, 3-2.

In the fifth, LSU Eunice tacked on two more runs to move ahead 5-2, but PRCC responded with two runs of its own in the bottom half. Preston Soper (Madison; Germantown) drew a walk and Logan Walters (Petal) promptly sent a two-run homer flying over the left field wall, 5-4.

LSU Eunice added another in the eighth on an RBI single into left field. PRCC loaded up the bases in the bottom half of the inning but grounded into a double play to end the inning. In the ninth, the Wildcats got a runner on base but couldn’t get anyone across the plate, falling 6-4.

Cooksey threw four innings, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks. Only one of the runs were earned. Blake Hooks (Petal) allowed two runs on three hits in one inning of work. Cortez Dennis (Wiggins; Stone County) was electric, throwing four innings and allowing one unearned run. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out four.

Walters finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Hickman was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk.

Pearl River returns to action Wednesday at 12 p.m. against Itawamba.

The entirety of the Region 23 Tournament will be livestreamed on the LSUE Digital Sports Network. Games can also be heard at WRJW 1320-AM, 106.9 FM and with Carey Meitzler on the call.

For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics)