Blue Devils rally to beat stubborn Brookhaven in Game 1
Carriere—The Pearl River Central Blue Devils found a way to beat the Brookhaven Panthers 7-6 in Game 1 of their best of three series despite defensive miscues and a strong pitching performance by Panther ace Maney Miller.
Miller drove in a run in the top of first for Brookhaven but PRC answered with Caiden Shoemake single to tie it 1-1.
The Panthers went up 3-1 in the second aided by two throwing errors by the Blue Devils.
PRC got one run in the second when Jacob Stockstill doubled to start the frame and would score on Hunter Brunson’s double. In the third, an RBI single from Cameron Brunson tied the game at 3-3.
Ole Brook got an RBI double from Darius Robinson in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead, but it was short-lived as the Blue Devils scored twice in the bottom of the inning aided by singles from Jared Dickens and Brunson to give PRC a 5-4 lead. PRC added a run in the sixth before the Panthers tied the game in the top of the 7th on two walks and two groundouts.
Dickens and Brunson walked to start the inning and Miller was removed due to reaching the pitch count. Miller had recorded 11 strikeouts before being replaced by Jacob Rushing.
Jared Dickens slides into third base in the bottom of the 7th
Prior to the fourth pitch to Craft from Rushing, Dickens was caught off second base on a pickoff attempt, but was able to advance to third when Brookhaven's attempt to retire Dickens was mishandled putting Dickens at third base. On the next pitch, Craft hit a high-hop grounder to the right side of the infield that scored Dickens to end the game.
Brock Craft at bat in the bottom of the first inning
Justin Robinson pitched into the seventh before giving way to Heath Brunson.
Head Coach Neil Walther was happy to get the win despite the lack of execution by his team.
“I just told them we are playing with ‘House Money’. You don’t always get those chances when you don’t execute and at times we didn’t. But give credit to Brookhaven because they battled us the whole game, “ Walther stated after addressing his team in their postgame meeting.
“Let’s face it. It’s playoff baseball and everybody has good scouting reports and they talk to other coaches who you have played, so everyone has a good idea on how to pitch you. Brookhaven did a very good job tonight and I’m very happy to get this win.”
The Blue Devils travel to Brookhaven for Game 2 on Friday for a 6:00 p.m. first pitch.
WRJW 1320 AM and wrjwradio.com coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. with Tyler Johnson on the call.