River sweeps Bishop in home openers

 POPLARVILLE — Pearl River’s Wildcats swept Bishop State (Ala.) in NJCAA baseball doubleheader action here Friday, rallying late to take a hard-fought victory in the first game before pounding the visiting Wildcat squad 10-0 in five innings in the nightcap game.
            PRCC improved to 3-1 overall, while BSCC dropped to 1-8.
            In the first game, Bishop State scored in the first three innings to go up 4-0 after three before Pearl River bounced back with two in the bottom of the fourth and three in the sixth to take the one-run victory.
            In the top of the first, lead off Jeff Johnson singled, moved to second off Alex Oliver’s ground out, and scored off Austin Ourso’s single down the third base line to make it 1-0 before Daniel Murphy hit into a double play.
            Ole Miss signee Braxton Lee of Picayune High led off the bottom of the frame with a single to left center, but was thrown out at second on an attempted steal. BSCC starter Byron Fillingim then retired three straight to end the inning.

            In the second, lead off Corey Lane was walked by PRCC starter and Nicholls State (La.) signee Ryan Deemes out of Holy Cross High in Chalmette, La., before Nick Thompson singled to left center. Lane scored when Nick Hodges reached on an error, setting the stage for Josh Slayter’s RBI sacrifice to right to make it 3-0. Ty Singletary followed with a double down the third base line before Jeff Johnson flew out to left and Deemes struck out Alex Oliver.
            Nathan Pugh of Starkville High got a one-out double via an outfield error before Joe Kirkland of Moss Point High struck out and Kollin Cannon of St. Stanislaus High grounded to second to end the inning.
            Bishop scored its final run in the top of the third when lead off Ourso reached on an error, moved to second off Thompson’s single two outs later, and scored off Hodges’ double to left center to make ti 4-0.
            At that point, Deemes exited the mound for Bubba Stockstill and the freshman southpaw out of Pearl River Central High immediately struck out Josh Slayter for the final out.
            PRCC went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning, while BSCC left base runners at second and third on in the top of the fourth via a lead off walk and an error. Stockstill struck out two of the five batters he faced in the fourth.
            The Wildcats commenced catch up in the bottom of the inning when Paul Pickerrell out of John Hardin High in Elizabethtown, Ky., led off with a single to right, moved to second on a balk, and scored an out later when Krisjon Wilkerson out of St. Stanislaus reached on an error. Pugh followed with a base hit to center field before Kirkland was belted by a pitch to load the bases. Cannon drove in Wilkerson when he reached on a fielder’s choice to make it 4-2 before Andrew Wilkes out of Pearl High flew out to left center to end the inning.
            Both sides went three up, three down in the fifth; while PRCC iced the cake in the bottom of the sixth.
            Lead off Forrest Dungan of Columbia High reached on an error, Wilkerson walked, and Pugh singled to left to load the bases. Kirkland then belted an RBI single to center, while pinch hitter Darien Brown of Hattiesburg High sacrificed the game-tying run home a strikeout later.
            With runners at first and second, pinch hitter Derek Martin of Poplarville High singled up the middle for the game-winning run.
            Brandon Fry out of Nease High in Jacksonville, Fla., relieved in the seventh, allowing two base runners with one out via a walk and a single before recording his only strikeout. Thompson hit into a force out to end the game.
            Stockstill (1-0) got the win in his 3.1 innings on the mound, while Deemes went two-and-two-thirds.
            Fillingim (1-1) got the loss in his five innings of action, while Christian Beasley pitched the sixth.
            Thompson paced BSCC’s seven-hit effort with two base hits, while Singletary doubled and Hodges, Johnson, Daniel Murphy, and Ourso all singled.
            Pugh led PRCC with two base hits, while Kirkland, Lee, Martin, and Pickerrell all had base hits.
            In the nightcap, things were scoreless for the first two frames before Pearl River scored four in the bottom of the third, then iced the game via the 10-run rule with six in the bottom of the fifth.
            Southern Miss signee Christian Talley (2-0) of Hancock County High got the win in his four innings of action, while Cameron Reynolds of Gulfport High pitched the fifth.
            BSCC starter Ourso (0-2) got the loss in his four innings on the mound, while Gillen Walker relieved in the fifth.
            The visiting Wildcats accounted for only two singles in the game, while the host Wildcats managed nine, including a home run by Wilkerson and a double by Martin.
            Pearl River returns to action Sunday when it travels to Meridian CC in Meridian to face MACJC non-division foe Coahoma at 3 p.m. before playing host MCC at 6 p.m. PRCC returns home Tuesday to host No. 1-ranked and defending national champion LSU-Eunice in a 4 p.m. doubleheader in Wildcat Stadium.

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