No. 3 Pearl River pummels Coahoma in sweep
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 3 Pearl River baseball team turned in one of its best all-around efforts of the season Saturday, run-ruling Coahoma twice to move to 7-1 in MACCC play. The Wildcats won the first game of the day 11-1 in six innings before winning the nightcap 15-4 in five innings.
"I'm very proud of the effort all day long. This was what we needed because we've had some tough days the last couple of days," Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. "We didn't know that we would do this because nobody knows how the game of baseball is going to play out. It was just good that we scored runs and our pitchers didn't have to pitch with a lot of pressure today. I'm also proud of how well we played defense today."
GAME ONE Will Passeau (Mobile, Ala.; St. Pauls) took the mound to start the game for Pearl River (19-5 overall; 7-1 MACCC) The right-hander worked himself into some trouble to start the inning, but induced an pop out and struck out two batters to put an end to the threat.
In the bottom of the first, Tate Parker (Gulfport; West Harrison) took the first pitch of his at-bat for a strike before knocking the second pitch into right field for a single. Matt Mercer (Richton; Petal) then stepped into the batter's box and hit a moonshot two-run homer over the left field wall for a 2-0 lead.
Coahoma (6-12; 1-7) broke into the run column in the fourth inning with a towering solo homer over the left field wall, making the score 2-1.
Pearl River took a 6-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning. Preston Soper (Madison; Germantown) got into scoring position with a double and D.K. Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) fouled off four pitches before lining a ball into left field to bring him home. One batter later, Gabe Broadus (Wilmer, Ala.; Faith Academy) surprised the defense by laying down a bunt that rolled down the edge of the line for a single. Parker then whacked a double into left field to score Broadus. An Alex Perry (McComb; North Pike) single then brought in Donaldson. Moments later, Perry purposely got caught in a run down to allow Parker to score from third base.
Pearl River plated another in the fifth to take a 7-1 lead. Montz walked to lead off the inning and then swiped second base. Walters followed it up with an opposite-field knock to bring him in.
The Wildcats put an end to the game in the sixth inning. Broadus led off the inning by hitting a single on the first pitch, stealing second and advancing to third on an error. Back-to-back singles from Parker and Perry brought two runs to home plate. Perry then scored on an error off the bat of Walters and Ryan Burt (Columbus; New Hope) put an end to the game when he pulled a ball down the right field line to give PRCC an 11-1 run-rule victory.
Alex Perry (McComb; North Pike) had an incredible doubleheader for the No. 3 Pearl River baseball team against Coahoma. The third baseman went 6-for-8 with two homers, one double and nine RBIs. (Trenton Gascho/PRCC Athletics)
Passeau threw five incredible innings in his third start of the season. He gave up just four hits, two walks and one earned run while striking out seven Tiger hitters.
"His stuff is really good. He was up to 93 miles per hour today," Avalon said. "He had good stuff and a good breaking ball. They put a couple of good swings on him early and he had to find himself. That's a big start for a freshman that hasn't done that yet. That was his first start against a conference opponent. He settled in and pitched well."
Passeau talked about his start during the postgame.
"I felt good out there. I have a good defense behind me so I was able to trust them," he said. "It's always big to have the run support that I had. It makes me feel more comfortable out there."
Mason Smith (Laurel; Northeast Jones) pitched an inning in relief and needed just nine pitches to retire the side. He tallied one strikeout in the appearance.
Parker and Perry both went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Broadus rounded out those with multiple hits, grabbing two.
GAME TWO The Wildcats jumped on the Tigers in game two, scoring an incredible 10 runs in the first inning of play. Parker blasted his NJCAA leading 10th homer of the year to make the score 1-0. After a Perry double and a Walters single, Montz reached on an error to allow Perry to come around the bases. Donaldson then lined a double down the right field line to bring a run in. Blake Hooks (Petal) joined the hit parade by getting a single to fall in front of the centerfielder, bringing home two runs to make the score 5-0. With two outs, Taylor Woodcock (Pass Christian; West Harrison) tucked a ball down the left field line to drive in the sixth run of the inning. Broadus then drew a four-pitch walk and Parker was hit with a pitch to load the bases. Perry stepped to the plate and launched a third Wildcat grand slam in the last four games to stretch the lead out to 10-0.
A quick top of the second from Sam Hill (Soso; West Jones) sent the Wildcats right back to the plate. Donaldson made the most of his at-bat in the inning by crushing the 1-0 pitch deep over the wall for his third homer of the year, stretching the lead out to 11-0 in the process.
PRCC got right back to scoring in the fourth inning, plating four more runs to increase the advantage to 15-0. Woodcock was hit by a pitch to start the inning and two straight singles by Broadus and Perry brought him home. Perry then continued his incredible day at the plate by hitting a moonshot 3-run homer, collecting his seventh RBI of the game.
Hill took the hill and pitched three great innings for the Wildcats. He allowed just two hits in the game, striking out one and allowing zero runs. Byrion Robinson (Brookhaven) pitched one relief inning and struck out two batters against one hit. Jordan Belsome (Poplarville) pitched an inning, striking out two against four earned runs.
Perry led the way in the game, going 3-for-4 with 7 RBIs. He also scored three runs. Broadus, Parker, Donaldson and Woodcock all grabbed two hits in the game.
"I haven't been swinging it well. Today I was seeing it," Perry said. "The coaches told me to lock-in and see the ball and I did that. They threw me a fastball early in the count and I didn't miss it. In my next at-bat, I had a full count and got a good pitch to hit and was able to get that one out too."
NEXT UP Pearl River hits the road Tuesday to take on archrival Gulf Coast. The doubleheader is set to get underway at 3 p.m. and will be livestreamed at livestream.com/mgcccbulldogs and audio only on wrjwradio.com (click on the Wildcat).