No. 7 Pearl River mashes 11 homers in sweep of Gulf Coast
PERKINSTON, Miss. — No. 7 Pearl River ensured it would have a ‘super’ Sunday, mashing 11 home runs in a sweep at rival Gulf Coast.
Pearl River picked up a 16-6 victory in six innings in Game 1 and then took the night cap 11-2.
“This is a beautiful ball park and it was really pretty today with the balls flying out like they were. I don’t know how many home runs we hit, I have no clue, but I do know we barreled up a lot of baseballs against really good arms. Those arms are top notch in this league,” Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. “We have a lot of respect for those guys over there. Coach (Wes) Thigpen and those guys do a good job.”
PRCC’s sweep marks four straight wins over Gulf Coast.
GAME 1 Home runs were the name of the game in the opener Sunday. The Wildcats (4-0 overall) set a program best — at least in the Avalon era — by belting eight homers in the game; the previous high was five, which the Wildcats hit two times in 2019.
“It’s just what we do around here,” said first baseman Von Seibert (Mobile, Ala.; Daphne), who led PRCC’s assault on MGCCC’s pitching with four home runs.
After a scoreless first, Graham Crawford (Sumrall) opened the scoring in the second with a leadoff homer. MGCCC (0-2) tied the game in the bottom of the second, but Kasey Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison), Seibert and Crawford went back-to-back-to-back to open the third, extending PRCC’s lead to 4-1.
A Donaldson sacrifice fly scored Tate Parker (Gulfport; West Harrison) in the fourth.
MGCCC got a run in the bottom of the fourth, but John Griffin Bell (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy) swatted an RBI single in the next frame to get the run back.
Parker hit a three-run homer later in the frame and then Seibert hit his second of the contest to push PRCC’s lead to 12-3 through 4 ½ innings.
After the Bulldogs tallied another run in the fifth, Parker hit a three-run homer and Seibert hit his third round-tripper of the game, both in the sixth.
The Bulldogs tallied two more runs in the bottom of the inning but it wasn’t enough to avoid being run-ruled.
Eight different Wildcats recorded at least one hit in the victory, with Parker, Seibert and Crawford each tallying three hits. Parker led PRCC with six RBIs. Dalton Cummins (Seminary) tallied two doubles on the day.
In addition to setting a new modern era record for homers, the Wildcats also scored 16 for the first time since beating Itawamba 21-13 in the 2019 Region XXIII Tournament; PRCC eclipsed 16 runs seven times that season.
The offensive outburst also marked the most runs MGCCC has allowed since surrendering 27 to East Central in the 2016 playoffs.
While the offense certainly stood out, PRCC’s pitching also did a good job in Game 1. Jacob Scherer (Mandeville, La.; St. Paul) earned the win, scattering three runs on four hits and one walk in four innings. Scherer also struck out six.
“He’s battle tested,” Avalon said. “I knew he was going to handle it and throw strikes. He had a little extra life on his slider. He located his offspeed pitches. He was just really, really good.”
Reid Reynolds (Heidelberg; Northeast Jones) and Shelby Terrell (Foxworth; West Marion) also pitched.
GAME 2 Pearl River kept the hot bats going in Game 2.
Parker drove in the first run of the game in the first with a sacrifice fly. An RBI-single from Bell and a two-run home run from Taylor Woodcock (Pass Christian; West Harrison) extended PRCC’s lead to 4-0 in the second.
Bell singled in another run in the fourth. Matt Mercer (Petal) slugged a two-run homer and then D.K. Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) drove in another run on a ground out for the 8-1 advantage in the fifth.
The Bulldogs scored a run in the bottom of the fifth and had two more on base when Dakota Lee (Purvis) entered for starter Sam Hill (Soso; West Jones). The right-hander immediately zipped three pitches past the MGCCC batter for a big punchout to keep PRCC ahead 8-2.
Seibert (pictured) left the yard for the fourth time on the day in the sixth, smashing a three-run homer to give Pearl River an 11-2 lead.
“I got ahead in each at-bat,” Seibert said of his four-homer day. “I was just looking for something straight to hit and hit ‘em a long way.”
Lee struck out another batter in the sixth and two more in the seventh to shut the door on MGCCC and clinch the sweep. Lee finished the game with 2 1/3 unblemished innings of work.
“No one has thrown as well as Dakota just did. That was electric,” Avalon said. “When it’s second and third and you bring him in with a 3-0 count; he went with his best stuff and set the tone.”
Bell, Mercer and Cummins each had two hits for PRCC. Seibert drove in a team-high three RBIs.
Hill earned the win, striking out five while scattering two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk.
NEXT UP The Wildcats hit the road Tuesday for a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Copiah-Lincoln. PRCC returns to Dub Herring Park on Friday to face Hinds. First pitch at The Dub is set for 2 p.m.
Fans who have Roku or Amazon Fire devices can also watch the Wildcats on their televisions by downloading the “Pearl River CC” channel from their app store.
Games will also be carried on WRJWRadio.com.