No. 3 Pearl River to host Southwest in Region 23 play-in series
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — After another successful regular season, the No. 3 Pearl River baseball team will now focus its attention on the Region 23 play-in series.
The Wildcats (41-11 overall; 20-8 MACCC) will host Southwest (23-26; 13-15) at Dub Herring Park in a best-of-three series. Games one and two will be Thursday and Friday at 4 p.m. If necessary, game three will be on Saturday at 2 p.m. Each game will be nine innings.
Tickets for games one and two are on sale now at PRCCAthletics.com/Tickets. Game three tickets will go on sale at 8 a.m. on Saturday if necessary.
The winner of the series advances to the Region 23 Tournament, which will be held May 15-19 at LSU Eunice.
"We're looking forward to being at home. We need our crowd to come out and support these guys," Pearl River head coach Michael Avalon said. "This will be their last time playing at The Dub. This is arguably the greatest sophomore class to ever come through Pearl River baseball. We need to have The Dub rocking this weekend and send them off the right way."
ABOUT THE WILDCATS
Heading into the postseason, Pearl River's pitching staff is at the top of the conference in nearly every statistical category. The Wildcats are first in team ERA (2.75), strikeouts (472), walks (166), earned runs (121) and runs (172).
Cooper Cooksey (Waveland; Bay) has been arguably the best arm in the league this season, holding a 1.37 ERA across 59 1/3 innings pitched. He has allowed just nine earned runs this season. Will Passeau (Mobile, Ala.; St. Paul's) is third-best in the conference in ERA with a 2.31 mark in 62 1/3 innings pitched. He leads the league in strikeouts with 81. The fourth-best pitcher in the MACCC this season in terms of ERA was Cortez Dennis (Wiggins Stone County), who holds a 3.33 ERA in 54 innings. Luke Lyon (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) hasn't pitched enough innings to qualify for league leaders but has a 2.29 ERA. He also has 65 strikeouts which is sixth-best in the MACCC.
Offensively, the Wildcats are one of the best teams in the conference. They rank first in walks (391), runs batted in (370), stolen bases (124), doubles (105) and homers (55). PRCC is fourth in the conference in team batting average with a .313 mark.
Alex Perry (McComb; North Pike) is first on the Wildcats in batting average (.364), RBIs (56) and stolen bases (20). Preston Soper (Madison; Germantown) has been a tough out for opponents all season. He holds a .355 batting average, .526 on-base percentage and .608 slugging percentage. The left-handed hitter is tied for the team lead in homers with 10. He also has 10 doubles, 44 RBIs, 20 stolen bases and a PRCC record 52 walks. Logan Walters (Petal) is tied with Soper with 10 homers. He has a .339 batting average and is second on the team in RBIs with 53. Triston Hickman (Wiggins; Stone County) hasn't registered enough at-bats to lead the team but has a .402 batting average with 25 RBIs, eight doubles, six homers and one triple since taking over as the everyday designated hitter.
ABOUT THE BEARS Finishing with a 13-15 record in the MACCC, the Bears will make their first postseason appearance since 2015.
Southwest is led at the plate by sophomore Braiden Jones, who has a season batting average of .341 to go along with 10 homers, 10 doubles and 46 RBIs. Marcus Jackson is second with a .329 batting average, 14 doubles, three triples and three homers. He's driven in 23 runs, walked 27 times and stole 21 bases.
Freshman Luke Lirette leads the Bears in innings pitched with 57 1/3 innings. He's struck out 53 batters and walked 27. His ERA sits at 4.24. Justin Thomas is second on SMCC in innings pitched (48) and ERA (5.44).
The Wildcats won all three matchups against the Bears this season and have won 11 straight against them overall.
CASHLESS BOX OFFICE
To help improve traffic flow and fan experience, PRCC athletics box offices are cashless in 2022-23. Only credit and debit cards will
be accepted at the box office. Fans are encouraged to beat the lines and purchase their tickets in advance.
Pearl River livestreams all home games for free at PRCCMedia.com. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" channel from their app stores.
Games can also be heard at WRJW 1320-AM, 106.9 FM and WRJWRadio.com.