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No. 4 comeback ‘Cats sweep East Mississippi, move to 18-0 in MACCC

Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 4 Pearl River baseball team rolled with the punches Saturday evening against East Mississippi, slugging its way to a pair of come-from-behind victories to sweep the Lions. PRCC took game one 6-4 and game two 8-4.

Pearl River now has a 25-game winning streak and remains the only unbeaten team in the MACCC. The Wildcats now have at least a three-game lead on each team in the standings. 

"That's a tough and physical team. They are very talented. Since Tuesday after Copiah-Lincoln, I've been trying to ensure we were prepared to play them. I knew it would be tough, so I am proud of the guys for what they did.

"I'm proud of this offense for battling when we were down. Yesterday, we worked on coming from behind. I had that feeling and we made them try to win a game from behind. They never flinched today."



It was a rough start to the day for Pearl River (38-5 overall; 18-0 MACCC) as the Wildcats fell behind East Mississippi (25-14; 11-7) 2-0 before starter Caleb Dyess (Carriere; Pearl River Central) induced an inning-ending double play.

The Wildcats didn't slice into the lead until the fourth inning, and who else to do it but the smooth-swinging, left-handed hitter Hollis Porter (Hurley; East Central). He stepped to the dish and sent a line drive flying the other way and over the wall in left field for his 18th home run of the season — bringing him within one of tying the single-season record. 

Pearl River took its first lead of the day in the sixth inning. Creek Robertson (Oxford; Madison Central) and Porter were hit by pitches to open the frame before Jeff Ince (Brandon) dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up. That's when Marshall Phillips (Sumrall; Hattiesburg) delivered his first clutch hit of the day, roping a two-run double down the left field line, 4-2. Phillips stole third base with Caston Thompson (Jayess; Brookhaven Academy) at the plate. Thompson drew a walk, and rather than stopping there, he rounded first base to get caught in a run down. Phillips sprinted down the line and took the plate to add another run, 5-2.

In the sixth inning, Pearl River welcomed back left-handed pitcher Conner Ware (Madison; Germantown) for his first appearance since the season opener. The LSU signee was helped by his defense to begin his outing. A ball was hit high into right field territory, and Alex Wade (Decatur, Ala.; Madison Academy) got a perfect jump into the ball. He ranged deep, dropped into a slide and caught the ball. Ware then forced a pop-up to the catcher before throwing a nasty curveball to punch out the final batter of the frame.

East Mississippi squared the game up at 4-4 in the eighth and could have scored more if not for the slick-fielding Robertson, who dove up the middle, hauled in a ground ball and fired to first to end the inning. The tied score set up more Phillips heroics in the bottom half of the inning. Following an Ince triple off the center field wall, Phillips ambushed a 0-0 pitch and sent a moonshot of a home run deep over the wall in left field, 6-4.

The Wildcats worked around two singles in the top of the ninth to close out the game.

Dyess settled in after the first inning and went on to throw six innings of two-run baseball. He allowed two runs on five hits and four walks, striking out three. Ware struck out one and gave up one hit in his lone inning of work. 

"What the crowd did for him and the moment that he got to experience at this place was so much more than baseball," Avalon said. "He's a special young man, and seeing him get out there was good."

Austin Tommasini (Madison; Madison Central) recorded two outs, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. AJ Hansen (Mobile, Ala.; McGill-Toolen) earned the win, throwing 1 1/3 innings. He gave up two hits.

Marshall Phillips (3) celebrates with teammates after hitting a go-ahead three-run homer against East Mississippi (Hannah Mills/PRCC)

Phillips led the charge at the plate, going 2-for-4 with four RBIs, a double and one homer. He also stole two bases. 

"He's a really good player," Avalon said. "The more comfortable he gets, the more confident he is at the plate. He can change a game, and he did that twice today. We needed that. He stepped up today."

Ince also finished the day with two hits.



Pearl River found itself in another bad situation in the early going of game two, falling behind the Lions 4-0 after two-and-a-half innings. Luckily, the Wildcats were once again up to the challenge — doing all their damage with two outs. Bryce Fowler (Madison; Germantown) provided the spark, homering deep over the right field wall on a 2-1 count to break the shutout.

Robertson singled and moved to third on a Porter single. Ince brought him across the plate by ripping a single into right field, 4-2. Phillips came up huge for PRCC once again to follow, taking a first-pitch ball then depositing the follow-up pitch over the wall for a three-run homer and the lead, 5-4.

Pearl River added three massive insurance runs in the fifth frame. Ince and Phillips were plunked to open things and Thompson drew a walk to load the bases. Katsaboulas sent a fly ball to center field that looked routine, but it clanked off the defender's glove and fell to the ground. He reacted quickly to throw to second for the force out, but a run scored. Katsaboulas took second base to get into scoring position, and then he and Phillips scored on an opposite-field single into right field by Wade, 8-4.

Carson Fair (Southaven) took over in the sixth inning and pitched a pair of clean innings to secure a Wildcat victory.

JT Schnoor (Pascagoula; Resurrection) picked up his eighth win of the season by throwing five innings. He gave up four runs on four hits and four walks. He struck out seven. Fair earned the save with two innings of one-hit, one-walk baseball. He tacked on a strikeout.

Fowler, Robertson, Porter and Wade each had two hits apiece. Phillips drove in three runs, and Wade drove in two. 



Pearl River heads to Perkinston on Tuesday for a rivalry doubleheader against Gulf Coast. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at The games will be livestreamed at The games can also be heard at WRJW 1320-AM, 106.9 FM and


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



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