No. 3 Pearl River moves back into 1st place with sweep of Copiah-Lincoln
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
WESSON, Miss. — The No. 3 Pearl River baseball team used 24 runs and some dominant pitching Wednesday to sweep its way back into first place in the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference standings. The Wildcats took down Copiah-Lincoln 15-5 in game one and then won the nightcap 9-1 at Sullivan Field.
"We pitched it really well in game two. This is a tough place to play, it's an offensive ballpark," head coach Michael Avalon said. "They're a quality lineup. This is just a tough place to play. I'm proud of these wins. We did what we needed to do. We jumped on them and scored early. We led throughout the day which is hard to do. We're thankful for that. It was a good day for Wildcat baseball."
Avalon spoke about the team moving back into first place after the contest.
"That's what we play for. That's the message to these guys," he said. "Every time that you come out, you're playing for a championship. Now we have to turn back around Saturday and keep the foot on the pedal."
Gabe Broadus (left) and Ian Montz (right) celebrate after a Broadus three-run homer. In No. 3 Pearl River's doubleheader sweep of Copiah-Lincoln, Broadus went a combined 6-for-9 at the plate with one homer, six RBIs, six runs and one walk. He also stole six bases on the day. (Natalie Davis/Co-Lin Athletics)
Pearl River (23-7 overall; 11-3 MACCC) jumped on Copiah-Lincoln (11-20; 6-10) to begin the day, batting around and plating eight runs in the first. Gabe Broadus (Wilmer, Ala.; Faith Academy) led off the inning with a line drive single. John Griffin Bell (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy) followed it up by lacing the first pitch of his at-bat for a single. Tate Parker (Gulfport; West Harrison) continued the hit parade with an RBI single. Matt Mercer (Richton; Petal) stepped into the box and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Alex Perry (McComb; North Pike) drove a ball past the shortstop for a single and in stepped Ian Montz (Lafayette, La.; Acadiana). The left-handed hitter took the first pitch of his at-bat for a ball before blasting the second pitch deep over the right field wall to extend the lead to 5-0. Logan Walters (Petal) was then hit by a pitch and D.K. Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) followed it up with a double. Taylor Woodcock (Pass Christian; West Harrison) then grounded out to the shortstop to bring in another run. Broadus drove in his first RBI of the day shortly after on an opposite-field single. Mercer capped the scoring shortly after, driving in a run with a single to make the score 8-0.
The Wolves sliced the lead to five runs at 8-3 in the bottom half of the inning with a three-run homer over the center field wall.
The Wildcats kept their foot on the gas in the second inning, putting up a four-spot. Following a Montz walk, Walters was hit by a pitch to put two runners aboard. Montz came around to score on a passed ball shortly after, but a Woodcock walk put two runners back on for Broadus. The left fielder quickly smacked a moonshot three-run homer over the left field wall. The blast made the score 12-3.
The Wildcats got right back to work in the third inning as they added their 13th run of the game courtesy of a Donaldson RBI double.
PRCC wasn't done scoring as the Wildcats added a pair of runs in the fourth inning to take a 15-3 lead. Bell reached base on a fielder's choice and Parker was hit by a pitch. The duo then stole a base to get into scoring position and Mercer promptly sent them home on a double.
Copiah-Lincoln tried to get back into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning as they scored two runs to make it a 15-5 game; however, they couldn't avoid the run-rule as the Wildcats took the game 15-5 in five innings.
Will Passeau (Mobile, Ala.; St. Paul's) threw two innings, allowing five hits, three runs and one walk. He also tallied one strikeout. Ryan Burt (Columbus; New Hope) was nearly untouchable in his two innings on the mound. He allowed just one hit and struck out a pair of batters. Harper Jordan (Hattiesburg; Presbyterian Christian) tossed one inning, striking out two against one earned run, one hit and two walks.
Broadus led the way offensively, finishing the game 3-for-4 with four RBIs and one walk. He also stole a base. Mercer finished the game with two hits and four RBIs. Donaldson rounded out those with multiple hits, tallying two and one RBI.
The Wildcats plated the first run of game two after a pair of Copiah-Lincoln miscues allowed Broadus to cross home plate.
PRCC jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning. Preston Soper (Madison; Germantown) got things started with a single and Woodcock followed it up with a walk. Broadus then lined one into left field for an RBI. Another run crossed the plate shortly after when Parker lined a ball right back up the middle to cap the scoring in the inning.
The Wildcat bats went quiet for a couple of innings but came back alive in the sixth. Montz and Donaldson reached base on back-to-back singles and Soper scored Montz with a ground out, making the score 5-0. Woodcock drew a walk and then consecutive singles by Broadus and Bell extended the lead to 8-0.
The Wildcats added their last run of the night in the top of the seventh inning when Perry was able to score on a CLCC wild pitch, extending the Wildcat lead to 9-0 in the process.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Wolves finally broke up the Pearl River no-hitter and eventually put an end to the shutout after scoring on a sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats went on to claim the game 9-1.
Leif Moore (Biloxi; St. Martin) tossed four incredible no-hit innings, striking out two batters and walking one. Byrion Robinson (Brookhaven) threw two innings and struck out two against two walks. Turner Swistak (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) got the final three outs of the contest, allowing one run on one hit and one walk.
Broadus again led the way at the plate in game two, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored. He also swiped five bags in the game.
"Gabe is a sparkplug. We mess with him and J.G. and we think that putting J.G. behind him in the lineup kind of pushed him," Avalon said. "He had a great day. That's what he's capable of. He can make a lot of things happen. He's an electric player and I'm really proud of the day he had.
Bell collected one hit and three RBIs in the contest. Woodcock walked three times and scored a run.
The Wildcats hit the road again Saturday to take on Holmes. Due to tornado damage at the Holmes campus, the doubleheader has been moved to Sports Force Park in Vicksburg. There will be no livestream, but the game can be heard at WRJWRadio.com.