No. 3 Pearl River earns opening day win
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 3 Pearl River baseball team got its season started the right way Tuesday afternoon at Dub Herring Park, defeating Coastal Alabama-South 6-2 in a single nine-inning game. The Wildcats celebrated Sophomore Day before the contest.
"At times, we didn't play well, but you have to be careful about saying that as a coach," head coach Michael Avalon said. "We won, we had 12 hits and our pitchers made some big pitches. We have some things to clean up, but today was a beautiful opening day."
Mississippi State signee JT Schnoor (Pascagoula; Resurrection) got the ball for Pearl River (1-0 overall) to open the year and made quick work of Coastal Alabama-South (0-1) in the first inning. He opened his outing with two strikeouts before forcing a fly out to end the half-inning.
PRCC struck for a run in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out rally. Creek Robertson (Oxford; Madison Central) drove a double into left field, and Hollis Porter (Hurley; East Central) promptly brought him home with a single, 1-0. Errors got the best of the Wildcats in the top of the second inning as two in the frame allowed the Coyotes to even the game up, 1-1.
Pearl River retook the lead in the third inning. Jonah Katsaboulas (Brandon) sent a double off the wall to begin the inning, and Jeff Ince (Brandon; Jackson Prep) walked on five pitches afterward. Porter loaded the bases with a hard-hit single into right field, and Marshall Phillips (Hattiesburg; Sumrall) brought a pair of runners across the plate by sending a double into right field, 3-1.
CAS cut the deficit to one run in the fourth inning, 3-2, off a pair of Wildcat miscues. PRCC extended its lead right back out in the sixth. Caston Thompson (Jayess; Brookhaven Academy) worked a seven-pitch walk, and Ashton Schepens (Long Beach) came in to pinch run. A double down the left field line by Logan Terry (Long Beach) put two runners in scoring position. Katsaboulas then slapped a ball to the right side of the infield for an RBI groundout and effectively moved Terry to third base. Ince brought in the second run of the inning when he drove a single into center field, 5-2.
Porter continued his incredible day in the seventh inning, sending a high-arching opposite-field home run over the left field wall, 6-2. Quick seventh and eighth innings by the Wildcat pitchers allowed PRCC to earn a 6-2 season-opening win.
BY THE NUMBERS
Schnoor threw 2 1/3 innings, striking out three batters and allowing one unearned run. He didn't allow any hits in the outing. Austin Tommasini (Madison; Madison Central) earned the win in relief by throwing 2 2/3 innings and striking out three. He allowed just one hit and one unearned run.
Konnor Graham (Hammond, La.) made his collegiate debut in the sixth inning and threw a scoreless frame. Eli Waters (Petal) recorded two outs, allowing two walks and one hit. He struck out two batters. Blake Gollott (Saucier; D'Iberville) threw 1 1/3 innings, striking out one batter and walking another. Carson Fair (Southaven) ended the game for the Wildcats, allowing just one hit in the final inning.
Porter went 4-for-5 in the game with two RBIs and a home run.
"Hollis will be the first one to tell you that he thought this would be easy," Avalon said. "He knows it's not, and he worked hard. You saw all of his hard work today."
Phillips went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two doubles. Robertson was 2-for-5 in the game.
The Wildcats hit the road Friday to begin the Panama City Beach Classic. The Wildcats open the tournament at 10 a.m. against Gulf Coast State. The games can be heard at WRJWRadio.com.