River splits with Perk

            POPLARVILLE — Eighth-ranked Pearl River split with Mississippi Gulf Coast in MACJC South Division baseball action here Wednesday, winning the first game of the doubleheader 8-6 before being blasted 13-3 in the nightcap game.
            After the Wildcat’s opening win, the visiting Bulldogs’ amassed 13 hits in their lopsided victory — complimented by PRCC’s five errors.
            The River is now 19-7 overall and 3-3 in division play, while MGCCC is 14-10 and 1-3.
            In the first game, Gulf Coast went up 1-0 in the top of the opening inning when Kyle Clement led off with a single to center field and Chris Burdette reached on an error. With runners at first and third, Michael Gilbert sacrificed Clement home before Wildcat starter Brandon Fry out of Nease High in Jacksonville, Fla., retired two straight and K’d Blake Lawson for the final out.
            Pearl River took the lead in the bottom of the frame when lead off Braxton Lee of Picayune High outran an infield grounder for a base hit and Darius Knight of Pearl River followed suit on a bunt. With runners at first and third, Paul Pickerrell out of John Hardin High in Elizabethtown, Ky., singled in Lee to tie it up. After a strikeout, Knight scored off a sacrifice to left field by Forrest Dungan of Columbia High to make it 2-1. Kollin Cannon out of St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis grounded out to third to end the inning.
            After a scoreless second, both squads scored four runs in the third.
            For the Bulldogs, Burdette drew a lead off walk and Gilbert line drove a double to center field. A ground out later, Ryne Long walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Blake Lawson’s two-run single to center to make it 3-2. Zac Haarala’s ensuing walk reloaded the corners and Garrett Odom smacked a two-run single to center before Fry retired two straight for the final outs.
 
            Pearl River regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Pickerrell and Krisjon Wilkerson, another St. Stanislaus recruit, led off with back-to-back singles before Dungan reached on an error to load the bases. Cannon followed with a two-run single, winding up at second, which prompted the mound exit of Bulldog starter Stuart Holmes for Kyle Cumlander, who immediately walked Kyle Dolan of Forrest County AHS to reload the corners. After striking out Carlos Gonzales out of Warren Central in Vicksburg, Cumlander belted Derek Martin of Poplarville High to push the game-tying run home before Lee’s RBI sacrifice to center made it 6-5 Pearl River. Darius Knight of Pearl High struck out to end the inning.
            Burdette’s lead off single to start the fourth saw Fry relieved by Cameron Reynolds of Gulfport High. After Reynolds struck out Gilbert, Tyler Quave reached on a fielder’s choice and Long and Lawson singled to load the bases. Wildcat catcher Dungan then nailed Quave with a pick off throw to third for the final out.
            In the bottom of the frame, lead off Pickerrell popped out to short before Wilkerson and Dungan drew back-to-back walks. Jason McDonald relieved Cumlander at that point and he immediately hit Cannon to with pitch to load the bases, setting the stage for Dolan’s two-run double down the third-base line to make it 8-5. Joe Kirkland grounded out to first and Martin struck out to end the inning.
            Reynolds retired the side in the top of the fifth, including two strikeouts, while Pearl River went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning. The sixth also went scoreless with both squads managing one base runner via hit batters.
            The Bulldogs scored their final run in the seventh when Long and Lawson led off with base hits and Haarala was beaned by a pitch to load the corners. Jared Gates scored Long when he reached on a fielder’s choice before Reynolds retired Tayler Hardy and Clement to end the game.
            Fry (3-0) picked up the win in his three innings on the mound, giving up eight hits, striking out three, and walking four; while Reynolds gave up four hits in relief, striking out four, and hitting two batters.
            Holmes (3-2) was the losing pitcher in his two innings of action, giving up five hits, striking out two, walking one, and hitting one batter; while Cumlander pitched one-and-a-third, giving up one hit, striking out two, and walking three. McDonald pitched two-and-two-thirds, giving up a hit, striking out one, and hitting two batters.
            Lawson (two RBIs) and Long paced Gulf Coast’s 12-hit effort with three singles each, while Burdette had two base hits, Gilbert doubled (one RBI), and Clement, Hardy, and Odom (two RBIs) all singled. Jared Gates had an RBI.
            Pearl River finished with seven hits, led by Pickerrell’s two singles (one RBI); while Dolan doubled (one RBI) and Cannon (two RBIs), Dungan (one RBI), Lee (one RBI), and Wilkerson (one RBI) all had base hits. Martin had an RBI.
            MGCCC committed three errors in the game to PRCC’s one.
            In the nightcap, Gulf Coast went up 1-0 in the top of the opening inning when Clement led off with a single to center field and Burdette reached on the first of five Wildcats errors. With runners at second and third, Gilbert flew out to left and Clement was ruled out after he sped home before tagging third. Burdette moved to third on a passed ball was singled home by Long before Gates grounded to first for the final out.
            Pearl River answered with three in the bottom of the frame. Lead off Lee drew a base on balls, stole second a strikeout later, and scored off Pickerrell’s single. Wilkerson followed with a two-run homer over the left field wall to make it 3-1 before Bulldog starter Taylor Olsen retired Dungan and struck out Cannon to end the inning.
            The Bulldogs tied it up in the second. Lawson led off with a base hit to left center and Odom singled an out later before Haarala reached on a fielder’s choice. With runners at first and third, Clement singled in Lawson and Burdette singled in Haarala to knot things up at 3-3. With runners at first and third, Wildcat starter Christian Talley, a Southern Miss signee out of Hancock County High, K’d Gilbert for the final out.
            Pearl River went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning.
            Gulf Coast went up for good in the top of the third with a five-run barrage. Long led off with a walk, Gates doubled off an outfield error, and Long scored off Lawson’s ground out to short. An out later, Odom reached on yet another infield error to score Gates, while another River defensive miscue resulted in Haarala reaching to second base. Talley belted Clement with a pitch to load the bases and Burdette answered with a two-run, line-drive single to center to make it 7-3. With runners at second and third, Gilbert singled in the Bulldogs’ eight run, which saw Talley relieved by Bradley Rayborn of Purvis High who immediately retired Long for the final out.
            Lee led off the bottom of the frame with an up-the-middle base hits, but Olsen struck out Knight, Pickerrell grounded out, and Dungan and Wilkerson both struck out to end the inning.
            After a scoreless fourth, Gulf Coast padded its lead in the top of the fifth. After Rayborn struck out Haarala, Clement singled to left and Burdette was hit by a pitch. The duo advanced on a passed ball before Gilbert cracked an RBI single to left.
            Bubba Stockstill of Pearl River Central High relieved Rayborn at that point. After Long fouled out, Gates followed with an RBI base hit to make it 10-3 before Gilbert was nailed between third and home in a rundown for the final out.
            After Olsen gave up a one-out double to Wilkerson in the bottom of the sixth, Jordan Mada arrived in relief. Wilkerson moved to third off Dungan’s ground out before Cannon struck out to end the inning.
            Anthony Lusco of Bay High relieved Stockstill to start the seventh and Clement led off with a single to right field, while Burdette followed with a towering two-run homer over the right field wall. Gilbert then doubled to right center, moved to third on Long’s ground out, and scored off Gates’ sacrifice for the game’s final run. Lusco struck out Lawson for the final out.
            Nathan Pugh of Starkville High cracked a one-out single to left in the bottom of the frame before Darien Brown of Hattiesburg High hit into a double play to end the game.
            Olsen (1-0) got the win in his five-and-a-third innings on the mound, giving up four hits, striking out seven, walking two, and hitting a batter; while Mada pitched the final one-and-two-thirds, giving up a hit and striking out one.
            Talley (5-2) got the loss in his two-and-two-thirds innings, giving up seven hits, striking out two, walking one, and hitting a batter; while Rayborn went one-and-two-thirds in relief, giving up two hits, striking out three, and walking two. Stockstill also went one-and-two-thirds, giving up a hit; while Lusco gave up three hits and struck out one in the seventh.
            Clement paced the Bulldogs’ 13-hit attack with four singles (one RBI), while Gilbert doubled and had two base hits (two RBIs). Burdette homered and singled (four RBIs), Odom had two singles (one RBI), and Gates (one RBI) and Lawson (one RBI) both had base hits.
            Pearl River finished with five hits, led by Wilkerson homer and double (two RBIs), while Lee, Pickerrell (one RBI), and Pugh all had base hits.
            The Wildcats committed five errors in the game to the Bulldogs’ none.
            PRCC and MGCCC eye a division rematch Saturday, April 13, with a 3 p.m. doubleheader in Curley Farris Stadium in Perkinston.
            The River returns to action with it travels to South Division foe Hinds in Raymond Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader before hosting Meridian CC Tuesday for a 5 p.m. twin bill in Poplarville.

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