Blue Devils win South State beating Hattiesburg 7-4 in Game 3
Hattiesburg—The Pearl River Central Blue Devils captured the school’s first South State Championship with a 7-4 win over Hattiesburg in the rubber match of the series and earned a spot in next week’s Class 5A State Championship series.
The casual fan may have missed what happened over a three day span in the series between Hattiesburg and Pearl River Central. PRC dominated the series except for one half inning when Hattiesburg scored an amazing seven runs in the bottom of the seventh on Thursday in winning game one 9-8. The Blue Devils bounced back with a resounding 12-2 five inning on Friday and continued on Saturday night with a fast start.
In the top of the first, Austen Izzio walked and stole second and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Eli Lee. Hayden Dunhurst was on first after an infield single when Lee lofted the ball to left. Dunhurst induced a rundown between first and second when the throw came in from left field and Izzio broke from third and scored for a 1-0 lead.
PRC extended the lead in the third. Tristian Schlottman and Izzio reached on infield singles. Dunhurst launched 2-2 pitch for a three run home run over the right field wall and a 4-0 lead.
Cade Lee kept the Tigers quiet, facing 11 batters in the first three innings. In the fourth, two Blue Devil errors after two were out let Hattiesburg score twice to make it 4-2.
The Blue Devils responded with three runs in the fifth to retake momentum that had temporarily shifted. Eli Lee singled, Caleb Tynes was hit by a pitch and Josh Kennedy walked to load the bases. Cade Lee’s walk forced in a run. Zach Roussell singled past an drawn-in infield to drive in two runs and push the lead to 7-2.
Lee kept grinding on the mound and got to the bottom of the seventh looking to close out the game. Hattiesburg got a one out single from Jaden Richardson. One out later, Lee hit Joe Gray with a pitch. Dexter Jordan doubled to deep right centerfield to score both runners. Lee walked Noah Thornton to bring the tying run to the plate in Letrelle Johnson. Lee appeared to have struck out Johnson twice on two strike pitches, but the umpire did not agree. With a full count, Lee got a called third strike to end the game and send PRC to the State Championship for the first time in school history.
PRC will play North Champion Oxford on Tuesday at Trustmark Park in Pearl.