POPLARVILLE — Pearl River pulled off an impressive 5-4 extra-inning victory over No. 1-ranked LSU-Eunice before bouncing back with a 7-6 nightcap win to hand the reigning NJCAA Division II national champions their first losses of the season here Tuesday in Wildcat Stadium.
PRCC led 3-0 after five innings in the first game, but LSU-E answered with three in the top of the sixth before taking a 4-3 lead in the eighth. The Wildcats tied it up in the bottom of the ninth to send things into an extra inning.
After the Bengals left runners at first and second in the top of the 10th, LSU-E reliever Jevin Huval loaded the bases via a hit batter, a single, and a walk before walking in the game-ending run.
Nicholls State (La.) signee Ryan Deemes out of Holy Cross High in Chalmette, La., started and gave up a meager three hits in his five-and-two-thirds innings. After giving up a two-run double to Trent Vidrine to tie it up at 3-3, Deemes exited the mound for lefthander Bubba Stockstill of Pearl River Central High who retired the only batter he would face.
Bradley Rayborn of Purvis High pitched the scoreless seventh, while Anthony Lusco of Bay High arrived for the eighth, giving up a lead off single by Landon Thibodeaux before belting Garrett Deschamp with a pitch. Buddy McCoy’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, which prompted Lusco’s exit for Brandon Fry out of Nease High in Jacksonville, Fla. He immediately gave up an RBI single to Vidrine to put the Bengals up 4-3.
After walking Evan Powell to load the bases, Cameron Reynolds of Gulfport High arrived in relief and saw Kyle St. Pierre hit into a double play.
In the bottom of the frame, Paul Pickerrell out of John Hardin High in Elizabethtown, Ky., was thrown out at second on his lead off belt to right; then Krisjon Wilkerson out of St. Stanislaus walked and Ryan Domingue relieved starter Ben LeBlanc. Domingue struck out Carlos Gonzales out of Warren Central in Vicksburg before Darien Brown of Hattiesburg High flew out to center to end the inning.
Casey Rodrigue cracked a one-out single in the top of the ninth, stole second, but was nailed at third on an attempted steal before Reynolds K’d Stefan Troclair for the final out.
In the bottom of the inning, Forrest Dungan of Columbia High smacked a one-out single to left before Derek Martin of Poplarville High singled to left a strikeout later. Dungan scored when Ole Miss signee Braxton Lee of Picayune High reached on an error to tie it up at 4-4.
Huval releived Domingue at that point and retired Pickerrell to end the inning.
In the top of the 10th, Reynolds struck out lead off Thibodeaux before giving up back-to-back singles to Deschamp and McCoy. He then struck out Vidrine before Evan Powell hit into a force out.
In the bottom of the frame, Gonzales was hit by a pitch with one out, Brown singled to left, and Darius Knight out of Pearl High walked to load the bases before Huval walked Dungan to push in the game-winning run.
Reynolds (1-0) got the win, while Huval (0-1) got the loss.
Vidrine (three RBIs) and Dechamp (one RBI) both doubled to pace LSU-E’s nine hit effort, while PRCC finished with 11 hits. Knight (one RBI) doubled for the Wildcats’ only extra-base hit, while Lee, Dungan, Joe Kirkland of Moss Point High, and Wilkerson all had RBIs.
In the nightcap game, the Bengals went up 1-0 in the top of the first, but the Wildcats answered with two in the bottom of the inning and three in the second to take a 5-1 lead.
LSU-E added a run in the top of the third, but PRCC scored solo runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth to lead 7-2. The Bengals ended the scoring with two in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Southern Miss signee Christian Talley (3-0) started and went six-and-two-thirds before Fray relieved in the seventh.
Bengal starter Clay Tageant (0-1) got the loss in his four innings on the mound, while Jerry Gonzales and Merrick Adroin both saw relief duty.
LSU-E finished with nine hits with home runs by Casey Rodrigue and C.J. Womack, while Deschamp doubled.
PRCC finished with five hits, led by Pickerrell’s triple.
Pearl River travels to MACJC non-division rival East Mississippi in Scooba Saturday, Feb. 23, for a 1 p.m. twin bill before MACJC non-division foe Mississippi Delta plays host Thursday, Feb. 26, in Moorhead for a 12 noon twin bill.