No. 4 Pearl River clubs 16 extra-base hits in sweep of Coahoma
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — It was raining hits for the No. 4 Pearl River baseball team Friday evening at Coahoma as the Wildcats pounded out 31 runs, 31 hits and 16 extra-base hits to pick up a dominant sweep against the Tigers. PRCC run-ruled CCC 19-2 in game one before taking game two 12-2.
"Every day has its challenges. Every game and every team that you face, you have to overcome challenges," Pearl River coach Micahel Avalon said. "This is a tough place to play and we had to overcome some challenges. I thought our guys did a really good job from start to finish of playing hard. We have a lot of dirty uniforms. As a coach, you want to see that. I thought we played hard, pitched well and defended."
Pearl River (36-8 overall; 17-5 MACCC) came out of the gate on fire in the first game of the day, scoring three quick first-inning runs. The first two batters in the Wildcat lineup, Preston Soper (Madison; Germantown) and Ian Montz (Lafayette, La.; Acadiana), were plunked by a pitch. Alex Perry (McComb; North Pike) was the next Wildcat to step into the batter's box and after battling out to five pitches in the at-bat, Perry demolished the sixth pitch over the left field wall for a three-run homer., 3-0. The blast was the 26th of Perry's Wildcat career, which moved him into a tie for fifth in Pearl River's history.
Two quick innings on the mound for Will Passeau (Mobile, Ala.; St. Paul's) sent the Wildcats back to the plate to do more damage in the third frame. Soper began the frame with a double and Perry drove him home a few pitches later with a double of his own. Perry was cut down on the basepaths but that didn't slow down the Wildcat offense. Logan Walters(Petal) tripled on the fourth pitch he saw and came around to score a while later on a Hunter Sute (Tuscaloosa, Ala.; American Christian Academy) sacrifice fly. The last run of the inning was scored when Marshall Phillips (Hattiesburg; Sumrall) purposely was caught in a rundown so that Triston Hickman (Wiggins; Stone County) could slide into the plate safely, 6-0.
Coahoma (6-31; 1-19) fought back in the bottom half of the third, using three singles to bring home a pair of runners, 6-2.
The fourth inning saw Jonah Katsaboulas (Pearl; Brandon) draw a walk and score on a double off the centerfield wall from Soper, 7-2. An inning later, PRCC used a pair of Tiger miscues to increase the lead to 9-2. Hickman scored on a passed ball and Sute crossed the plate by way of a wild pitch.
Soper walked to begin the sixth and moved around to third base after an errant Tiger throw. Three pitches later, Perry brought him home with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Hickman was hit by a pitch and took third base on a double off the bat of Sute. A wild pitch couldn't be corralled by the CCC catcher and allowed Hickman to score, 11-2.
Preston Soper had a big day at the plate for PRCC
The Wildcats turned in a remarkable offensive inning in the seventh to move into run-rule territory. Blaise Breerwood (Poplarville) began the inning with a leadoff triple and scored when Katsaboulas poked a single between the third baseman and shortstop. A Montz single put two on for Soper who mashed an opposite-field three-run homer. The rally didn't end there as Perry and Walters singled back-to-back before Parker Ryan (Madison; Jackson Academy) walked to load the bases. In his second at-bat of the inning, Breerwood drove a ball into left field for a two-run single. Katsaboulas was the next up and picked up his second RBI single of the inning. PRCC brought in pinch-hitter Blake Gollott(D'Iberville) next. Usually a pitcher, Gollott roped a line drive into centerfield to cap the scoring, 19-2.
Nothing was doing for the Tigers in their half of the seventh, giving PRCC a 19-2 run-rule victory in game one.
Passeau finished his start with six innings pitched, scattering eight hits and two runs. He struck out eight batters in the game. JT Schnoor (Pascagoula; Resurrection) struck out all three batters he faced in his one inning of work.
Soper lead the way offensively finishing 3-for-4 with four RBIs, four runs scored, two doubles, one homer and one walk. Perry went 3-for-4 with two runs and five RBIs. Breerwood went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs. Katsaboulas was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Walters rounded out those with multiple hits, going for 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
Fresh off a six-inning, 78-pitch performance on the mound, Passeau was tasked with leading off at the plate in game two. The very first pitch thrown to the left-handed hitter didn't stay in the ballpark for long as he mashed it deep over the right field wall for a solo homer, 1-0.
An error combined with a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning gave Coahoma its first lead of the day, 2-1. Those two runs were the only ones that Pearl River starter Cortez Dennis (Wiggins; Stone County) was tagged with as he settled in to throw five solid innings.
In the third, Pearl River grabbed the lead once again and didn't look back. Passeau laced a single right back up the middle to set up Soper for his second home run of the doubleheader. This time, his two-run longball was laced over the right field wall, 3-2. Perry walked and stole second base a few pitches later before scoring on a Montz single into right field. After a Katsaboulas walk, Breerwood smashed a line drive off the glove of the Tiger third baseman. The ball ricocheted into no man's land and allowed Breerwood to cruise into second with a two-run double, 6-2.
Montz was the only offense for the Wildcats in the fifth inning, belting the third pitch he saw in his at-bat over the scoreboard in right field to extend the lead to 7-2.
Pearl River put up a four-spot in the sixth inning to swell the lead further, 11-2. Breerwood singled to start the frame and moved to third on a Ryan single. Passeau brought Breerwood home with a sacrifice fly. Ryan scored on a Soper single and Soper scored on a triple by Perry. Walters brought Perry home a few pitches later with a sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats tacked on their final run of the game in the top of the seventh inning as Phillips took home on a Tiger wild pitch.
Dennis finished with five innings, allowing two unearned runs and two hits. He struck out six batters and didn't walk one. Gollott threw an inning and struck out one batter. Byrion Robinson (Brookhaven) and Jordan Belsome (Poplarville) combined to throw the final inning of the evening. Robinson struck out one.
Passeau had a great game at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.
"After losing Gabe, we've been kind of searching for something," Avalon said. "I think Passeau has a chance to step up and be the answer until Gabe gets back. He's very, very talented. He threw six innings then comes out and game two and has five great at-bats. That's not easy to do, but I'm proud of him today."
Soper, Perry, Montz and Breerwood all had two hits in the game.
Pearl River returns to action Tuesday for a massive road game against first-place East Central. The doubleheader in Decatur will get underway at 3 p.m. and will be livestreamed at ECCCLive.com. The games can also be heard at WRJW 1320-AM, 106.9 FM, and WRJWRadio.com.