No. 1 Pearl River picks up second run-rule victory of Region 23 Tournament
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 1 Pearl River baseball team has been firing on all cylinders through the first two games of the Region 23 Tournament. After scoring 18 runs yesterday, the Wildcats scored double-digit runs again on the way to a 13-3 run-rule victory over Hinds.
"That wasn't easy. Dakota was big time today. Him putting up zeros early let us get ourselves going," head coach Michael Avalon said. "That's so important in postseason baseball. I learned a long time ago that you have to score in postseason baseball, but you have to put up zeros too, and they are hard to come by. I'm proud that we finished this. The message to the guys was let's get ourselves ready to play tomorrow. This win is just one step. Tomorrow will not be easy, but we will get ready tonight."
HOW IT HAPPENED
Dakota Lee (Purvis) stepped to the mound in the first inning and delivered a clean frame.
The Wildcats (38-10 overall) jumped on the Eagles in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs to take a 2-0 lead. Gabe Broadus (Wilmer, Ala.; Faith Academy) walked on four pitches to open things up. Tate Parker (Gulfport; West Harrison) followed him up by catching a ball on the end of the bat that snuck between the shortstop and third baseman for a single. Alex Perry (McComb; North Pike) drove home the first run of the inning by singling into the left-center field gap. He advanced to second base on the throw. D.K. Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) drove in another run moments later with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Hinds (29-17) was able to get a run back in the top of the third inning, scoring on a sacrifice fly to center field. The RBI made the score 2-1.
Broadus opened the bottom of the third inning by hitting the fourth pitch he saw right back where it came from for a single. He promptly swiped second base for his 34th stolen base of the year before Parker moved him to third base with an infield single. Perry pushed Broadus across soon after by lacing a single past the third baseman for a 3-1 lead. After Ian Montz (Lafayette, La.; Acadiana) walked to load the bases, Donaldson collected an RBI with a hit by pitch. The run made it a 4-1 ball game. An 11-pitch battle between Logan Walters (Petal) and the Hinds pitcher ended with a chopped single between the third baseman and a shortstop for an RBI. Taylor Woodcock (Pass Christian; West Harrison) mimicked Walters in his at-bat to collect an RBI and extend the lead out to 6-1. John Griffin Bell (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy) collected an RBI by grounding into a fielder's choice afterward to push the Wildcats ahead 7-1.
After a clean fourth inning from Lee, the Eagles got to him in the fifth by hitting a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 7-3.
The Wildcats turned in a huge frame in the bottom of the fifth to put an end to the contest. Donaldson reached base after an error by the Hinds shortstop. After he stole second base, Mercer drove him home with a single into left field. A bunt single from Woodcock loaded up the bases for Bell who grounded a ball to shortstop that was mishandled, allowing a run to cross the plate. The run pushed the Wildcat lead out to 9-2. On the third pitch of Broadus' at-bat, he hit one off the handle of his bat that blooped over the head of the second baseman. Two runs crossed the plate thanks to the hit and an error on the throw back into the infield, making the score 11-3. The Wildcats plated their 12th run of the game on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Perry before an error allowed Broadus to score for a 13-3 run-rule victory.
Broadus led the way at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three runs, two RBIs and one walk. He was also a threat on the basepaths, stealing a pair of bases. Perry was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Parker and Woodcock each collected two hits.
Lee had a solid outing on the mound, tossing four innings and allowing four hits, four walks and three runs. He struck out three Eagles. Blake Hooks (Petal) pitched the last inning for the Wildcats and allowed no runs and two hits.
The Wildcats return to action tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. The opponent is still to be decided.
Tickets are $12 per day. Kids 10 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased by visiting PRCCAthletics.com/tickets.
Pearl River has re-launched its tournament central page for this season's Region 23 Tournament. It can be accessed at PRCCAthletics.com/Region23 and will be the home for all tournament information, including livestreams, photos, brackets, directions and more.