River sweeps Southwest

            POPLARVILLE — Fifth-ranked Pearl River swept scrappy Southwest Mississippi 8-5 and 2-1 in MACJC South Division baseball action here Tuesday in Wildcat Stadium.
            Host PRCC improved to 25-9 overall and 8-4 in division play with the wins, while SMCC dropped to 12-20 and 3-9.
            In the first game, PRCC went up 3-0 in the bottom of the first when Ole Miss signee Braxton Lee of Picayune High led off with a single to left field and Darius Knight of Pearl High followed with a walk. The duo advanced to second and third off a sacrifice bunt by Paul Pickerrell out of John Hardin High in Elizabethtown, Ky.; setting the stage for a two-run, line drive double to left center by Krisjon Wilkerson out of St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis.
            After Wilkerson moved to third off an infield ground out by Forrest Dungan of Columbia High, Nathan Pugh of Starkville High pushed Wilkerson home when he reached on an error. Bear starter Jesse Travis ended the inning when he struck out Carlos Gonzales out of Warren Central High in Vicksburg for his only K of the contest.
            Southwest loaded the bases in the top of the second when Kendric Hodges and Collin Carroll cracked back-to-back base hits and starter Ryan Deemes, a Nicholls State (La.) signee who prepped at Holy Cross High in Chalmette, La., walked Patric Devlin an out later. Zach Jones then hit into a double play the thwart the threat.
            In the top of the third, the Bears cut The River’s lead to one when Brandon Austin cracked a one-out single and moved to second off Logan Ferrell’s sac bunt. After Kade Scivicque was hit by a pitch, Deemes walked Hodges to load the corners, setting the stage for Carroll’s two-run double to make it 3-2 before Anthony Durr grounded to second for the final out.
            The Wildcats padded their lead in the bottom of the frame when Dungan drew a two-out walk and courtesy runner Joe Kirkland of Moss Point High moved to third off Pugh’s a single to right. Kirkland scored on a passed ball for Pearl River’s fourth run before Gonzales grounded out to second to end the inning.
 
            Southwest managed two base runners off an Andrew Hulbert two-out walk and an Austin single, but were left stranded when Deemes K’d Ferrell for the final out.
            With one out in the bottom of the inning, Darien Brown of Hattiesburg High reached on an error, stole second, and scored off Lee’s double to left center field. After Knight grounded out, Travis walked Pickerrell and Wilkerson to load the bases, which prompted his mound exit for Chase Ladd. Ladd immediately gave up a two-run double to Dungan to make it 7-2 before Pugh flew out to right center to end the inning.
            That score remained intact until the bottom of the sixth when Lee led off with a double to left center, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored off Knight’s sacrifice fly. After Pickerrell struck out, Wilkerson and Dungan drew back-to-back base on balls before Pugh flew out to center to end the inning.
            Phillip Chandler out of Stone County High relieved Deemes to start the seventh and kicked off the frame with a strikeout before giving up back-to-back base hits to Ferrell and Scivicque. An out later the runners moved to second and third off a passed ball and both scored when Carroll singled, winding up at second. Carroll scored when Durr reached on an error to make it 8-5.
            At that point, Bubba Stockstill of Pearl River Central High relieved Chandler. Stockstill walked Devlin before ending the game with a strikeout of Zach Jones.
            Deemes (4-2) got the win in his six innings on the mound, giving up six hits, striking out one, and walking five; while Chandler pitched two-thirds of the seventh. He gave up two hits and recorded a strike out, while Stockstill had a walk and a strike out.
            Travis (0-5) got the loss in his three-and-two-thirds innings, giving up seven hits, striking out one, and walking four; while Ladd hurled the final two-and-one-third, giving up two hits, striking out one, and walking four.
            Carroll (four RBIs) led Southwest’s eight-hit effort with a double and two singles (one RBI), while Austin had two base hits and Ferrell and Hulbert both doubled.
            Pearl River finished with nine hits, led by Lee with a double and two singles (one RBI); while Brown had two base hits, Dungan (two RBIs) and Wilkerson (two RBIs) both doubled, and Kollin Cannon of St. Stanislaus and Pugh both singled. Knight also had an RBI for the Wildcats.
            Each team committed two errors in the contest.
            In the nightcap, things were scoreless for the first four innings before SMCC went up 1-0 in the top of the fifth.
            Devlin walked, moved to second off Drew Jones’ sacrifice and then to third off Hulbert’s ground out before scoring when Austin reached on an error.
            Pearl River iced the win in the bottom of the sixth when Pickerrell singled to center, moved to second on a wild pitch, and Dungan walked an out later. Knight’s fly out moved Pickerrell to third. Pickerrell scored on a passed ball. With Dungan now perched at second, Kyle Dolan of Forrest County AHS smashed a double to left field.
            Starter Jake Brumfield (5-0) out of Adams Christian Academy in Natchez got the win in going the distance, giving up a mere two hits, striking out five, and walking two; while starter Trace Robinson (3-4) got the loss. He also pitched the distance, giving up seven hits, striking out four, and walking two.
            Austin and Scivicque both singled for the Bears, while Dolan paced the Wildcats’ seven-hit effort with a double and a single (one RBI). Lee and Pickerrell had two singles each, while Wilkerson had a base hit.
            Tuesday’s doubleheader was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but moved back one day due to Wednesday’s rainy forecast.
            PRCC and SMCC eye a rematch Saturday, April 27, with a 1 p.m. twin bill in Summit that will wrap both teams’ regular season.
            Pearl River returns to action Saturday with South Division foe East Central visits for a 1 p.m. doubleheader before division rival Copiah-Lincoln visits Tuesday for a 4 p.m. twin bill.

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