BAY MINETTE, Ala. — No. 8 Pearl River baseball saw two polar opposite games Saturday when it split a doubleheader against Coastal Alabama South 13-9 and 4-3.
"I thought what happened today is what happens a lot in JUCO baseball," PRCC coach Michael Avalon said. "The first game is high scoring and in the second game the pitching staffs adjust and settle down."
PEARL RIVER 13, COASTAL ALABAMA SOUTH 9
The Wildcats (10-2) got down early to Coastal Alabama (6-7) 4-0 before Wiley Cleland (Columbia; Columbia Academy) hit a solo shot over the right field wall to put PRCC on the board.
Noah Barron (Hoover, Ala.) followed it up with a double that scored Matt Taylor (Raleigh) and cut the Wildcat deficit to two.
Coastal Alabama answered back with a two run homer to extend its lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the third.
Pearl River's Noah Barron drove in four runs in the Wildcats 13-9 win over Coastal Alabama South. (KRISTI HARRIS/ PRCC ATHLETICS)
The top of the fourth saw Britt McKay (Wiggins; Ocean Springs) score both Kasey Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) and Dexter Jordan (Hattiesburg) with an two-run single.
Taylor followed that up with an RBI single that scored McKay.
Anthony Izzio (Carriere; Pearl River Central) tied the game up with a sacrifice fly that scored Reece Ewing (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy).
Barron and Cleland gave the Wildcats an 8-6 lead with a sacrifice fly and single respectively.
Pearl River added to its lead in the top of the fifth when Ewing scored Jordan on a line drive single.
Luke Harper (Meridian; Northeast Lauderdale) then doubled in McKay to give the Wildcats a 10-6 lead.
Coastal Alabama scrapped back in the next two innings cutting the Wildcat lead to 10-9.
Pearl River slammed the door shut in the top of the eighth as Barron and Donaldson both hit home runs to extend the Wildcat lead to 13-9.
Ewing led the team in hits with three while Barron led the team in RBIs with four.
Wes Starr (Auburn, Ala.) picked up the win for the Wildcats on the mound, pitching 3 1/3 innings and only allowing three hits, two walks and one earned run.
COASTAL ALABAMA 4, PEARL RIVER 3
The Wildcats struck first when Cleland hit another solo shot to put Pearl River up 1-0 in the top of the first inning.
Coastal Alabama fought back in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs.
Pearl River made its run in the top of fourth inning.
Donaldson and Ewing both drove in runs with doubles in the late innings but the Wildcats were unable to rally for a second time Saturday.
Miles Smith (Laurel; Northeast Jones) was hit with the loss for the Wildcats.
Smith pitched four innings allowing five hits, one walk, and four earned runs while striking out five.
"I thought Miles went out there and did a pretty good job," Avalon said. "Offensively we just didn't execute."
Pearl River's Sunday doubleheader against Illinois Central has been canceled due to weather concerns. Pearl River returns to action next Saturday March 9 when the Wildcats take on Murray State at LSU-Eunice.
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