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No. 2 Pearl River's Region 23 Tournament run ends

Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director


POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 2 Pearl River baseball team's Region 23 Tournament appearance came to a close Thursday night. The Wildcats stayed alive with a 10-1 seven-inning victory over Meridian to open the day before falling 10-0 to LSU Eunice in six innings in the nightcap.


"We just didn't make the plays or make the pitches," head coach Michael Avalon said. "That's a really, really good team. They pitched it well and barreled the baseball up. We gave them too much early, and they force that."


Pearl River has to wait for the announcement of the NJCAA DII World Series bracket on May 21 at 10 a.m. to see if it received an at-large bid. It was nothing short of an incredible season for the Wildcats, who won a program record 49 games, set a record for consecutive wins with 29 and finished with the second-most conference wins in MACCC history with 25.


"I know that this was a really special group," Avalon said. "I begged these guys not to walk off this field, wondering if I was proud of them. They won the toughest conference in the country, had the best record in school history and played the toughest schedule in Pearl River history. Everything these guys did this season was special."


PEARL RIVER 10, MERIDIAN 1.

The Wildcats (49-10 overall) made sure to snatch the momentum as soon as possible as it faced elimination against Meridian (36-19). PRCC promptly loaded the bases in the top of the first with a single and two walks to bring up Jonah Katsaboulas (Brandon). The clutch-hitting third baseman did what he had seemed to do all year long and came up with the big hit when the Wildcats needed it, namely, a two-run single into left field, 2-0.


JT Schnoor (Pascagoula; Resurrection) was who the Wildcats trotted out as the starting pitcher, and the future Mississippi State Bulldog was sensational, facing the minimum through the first four innings of play and giving up just two hits that were each erased by a double play. 


The Wildcats added on in the fifth inning. Creek Robertson (Oxford; Madison Central) turned the lineup over with a single placed just outside the reach of the diving shortstop. Bryce Fowler (Madison; Germantown) walked to follow. Robertson scored when Jeff Ince (Brandon; Jackson Prep) chopped a ball over the first baseman's head that was then mishandled by the second baseman, 1-0. Hollis Porter (Hurley; East Central) drove the next two runs in, smacking a two-run triple off the top of the center field wall, 3-0. A Katsaboulas sacrifice fly a little later and a Parker Ryan (Madison; Jackson Academy) RBI single capped the scoring in the frame, 5-0.


With Schnoor (pictured left) still on cruise control, PRCC added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh to extend the lead to 10-0. In the sixth, Ince and Porter walked and eventually scored on a Marshall Phillips (Hattiesburg; Sumrall) RBI single. The seventh saw Logan Terry (Semmes, Ala.; East Central) and Alex Wade (Decatur, Ala.; Madison Academy) cross the plate after Fowler sent a laser into center field for a single.


Schnoor trotted back out to the mound in the seventh. The Eagles broke through for a run in the seventh, but Schnoor slammed the door with a punchout to secure the 10-1 victory.


Phillips and Wade each picked up two hits in the game. Both of Wade's hits were doubles. Katsaboulas collected three RBIs, while Fowler and Porter each had two.

Schnoor grabbed his program-record 12th victory of the year by scattering seven hits, one walk and one run. He struck out four batters.


LSU EUNICE 10, PEARL RIVER 0.

The Bengals (51-7) punched the Wildcats in the gut early in the game, scoring two runs in the top of the first on two errors and three walks before scoring six in the third inning to take an 8-0 advantage.

PRCC got a runner all the way to third base in the bottom of the fourth before lightning put the game in a delay. When the game resumed, the runner was stranded.

LSU Eunice tacked on two more in the top of the fifth and secured the victory with a clean bottom of the fifth.


Wade picked up two hits for the Wildcats. Fowler and Ince each had one.

Carson Fair (Southaven) threw 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three walks. He struck out two. Austin Tommasini (Madison; Madison Central) surrendered six runs on three hits and two walks. He struck out two. AJ Hansen (Mobile, Ala.; McGill-Toolen) fanned six batters in two innings of work. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks.


For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).

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