Gulfport- The Pearl River Central Blue Devils got a treen pitching effort from Rigel Robinson and two monster home runs to take a 4-2 win in Game 1 over home standing West Harrison in the 2nd round of the Class 5A South State Playoffs.
Things didn’t look good for PRC after West Harrison starter Tyler Jones struck out the side in the top of the first to retire the Blue Devils and Robinson walked the bases full in the bottom of the frame. With no outs and the bases jammed, Robinson got a strike out before walking another Hurricane batter to force in a run. With one out, West Harrison attempted a squeeze play, which failed when the batter was unable to bunt the ball, which resulted in a rundown play on the runner breaking from third base on the pitch. After catcher Hayden Dunhurst and third baseman Austen Izzio were able to get the runner out, Robinson struck out the batter to end the uprising.
Trailing 1-0, Eli Lee launched a towering home run on a 1-0 pitch over the right field fence to tie the game. In the bottom of the inning, Lee, a PRCC commit, watched as another PRCC commit, Kasey Donaldson, drilled a 2-0 pitch over the fence in left center to put West Harrison back on top 2-1.
PRC loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, but Jones worked out of the jam with two strike outs and a fly ball out to squelch the Blue Devils.
PRC finally got to Jones in the top of the sixth loading the bases and forcing his departure in favor of shortstop Taylor Woodcock. After Woodcock got a fly ball out and a strike out, a walk to Zach Roussell forced in the tying run.
In the top of the seventh, Caleb Tynes was hit by a pitch with one out. Dunhurst then crush a Woodcock fastball on a 2-1 count over the center field fence to put the Blue Devils up 4-2.
Robinson, who had been masterful mixing up his curve ball and recording 9 strike outs through the first innings, struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh before issuing a two out walk. Robinson was replaced by Blake Craft who got the final out on his first pitch with a fly ball to left field.
The Blue Devils (21-6) will host West Harrison(16-12) in Game 2 tonight in Carriere at 6:30pm. WRJW 1320 AM radio and internet streaming (wrjwradio.com) coverage starts with the pregame show at 6:15pm with Joey Johnson, Scooter Black, and Carey Meitzler.