No. 4 Pearl River has memorable night against Biloxi Shuckers
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Wednesday night provided the Pearl River baseball program with a memory that will last a lifetime. The Wildcats walked through the tunnels, into the visiting dugout and took the field against the Double-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Biloxi Shuckers.
Although the Wildcats lost 8-0, the experience was something that won't be forgotten any time soon.
"It's indescribable just how special this was and how unique the opportunity was," Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. "This is a childhood dream for every baseball player, having a chance to play professional baseball. They played at a professional stadium against some of the very best players in the world. I'm very, very thankful to the Biloxi Shuckers for allowing us this opportunity.
"There are so many people that helped make this possible. There are so many players who have come through our program who made this possible. They put Pearl River on the map and these guys are continuing to keep that reputation."
The Pearl River crowd came out in full force as the seats were filled with maroon and gold.
"People always ask me what makes Pearl River special," Avalon said. "This crowd that we had tonight is what makes it special. Look how many people came out on a Wednesday night to support these guys. We're incredibly blessed to have the support that we do and we're very thankful."
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Landen Payne (Ocean Springs; St. Martin) talked about getting to play at a ballpark that is near and dear to his heart.
"It was a crazy and amazing feeling when I walked on this field. I live 10 minutes down the road and I have been coming to Shuckers games for years," he said. "All of my family were able to come and watch. These are guys that we look up to. We want to be in their shoes, so to play against them is an amazing experience."
ABOUT THE GAME
Pearl River grabbed its first hit of the game quickly as the third Wildcat of the first inning, Alex Perry (McComb; North Pike) smacked a single into left field. Triston Hickman (Wiggins; Stone County) also got on base in the game by drawing a walk. He also stole a base.
The Wildcats ran out several arms in the contest, including JT Schnoor (Pascagoula; Resurrection), Byrion Robinson(Brookhaven), Cameron Fennell (Long Beach), Landen Payne (Ocean Springs; St. Martin), Jordan Belsome (Poplarville), Bobby Magee (Petal).
Fennell shined in his appearance, striking out the side on 14 pitches without giving up a hit or a walk. Belsome pitched two shutout innings for the Wildcats, striking out two batters. He didn't allow a hit or walk. Payne allowed just one baserunner in his appearance but also forced the Shuckers to ground into a double play. Schnoor struck out a pair of Shuckers in two innings of work. Robinson struck out one.
The Shuckers scored their runs in the first three innings of the day before the Wildcat arms settled in and kept them off the board for the final four frames.
Pearl River returns to action Friday for a road doubleheader against East Mississippi. It is set to get underway at 2 p.m. and will be livestreamed at EMCCLive.com. The game will also be available on the radio at WRJWRadio.com.
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