SUMMIT Pearl River Wildcats split with Southwest Mississippi in MACJC South Division doubleheader baseball action here Tuesday, falling 3-2 in the first game of the twin bill before routing the host Bears 8-2 in the nightcap game. PRCC is now 20-12 overall and 5-7 in division play, while SMCC is 13-19 and 6-6. Tuesday contests marked the fourth straight split for the Wildcats, who have yet to record a sweep in league play. The River split contests with Hinds in its division opener in Poplarville and with Mississippi Gulf Coast in Perkinston before division-leading Jones County pulled off a sweep in Poplarville. Pearl River then split with non_division foe Mississippi Delta in Moorhead before returning to division play with splits at Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson and East Central in Poplarville. Heading into this week action, JCJC led the South at 8-2 in division play, followed by East Central and Hinds at 6-4, Southwest, Gulf Coast at 5-7, Pearl River, and Co-Lin at 2-8. In the North, Itawamba leads the way at 9-1, followed by Northwest Mississippi at 7-3, Mississippi Delta at 6-4, Northeast Mississippi at 5-7, Holmes at 4-6, and East Mississippi and Coahoma at 2-8. The top four finishers in the North and South divisions earn berths in one of four MACJC best-of-three playoff series set for May 4-5 with North No. 1 seed hosting South No. 4, North No. 2 hosting South No. 3, South No. 1 hosting North No. 4, and South No. 2 hosting North No. 3. The winners of the series cop berth in the MACJC State Tournament set for May 10-12 at the home field of the top North Division seed. In Tuesday first game, Pearl River went up 1-0 in the top of the first when Chase Lewallen of Sumrall High reached on a two-out error before Chad Livingston, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer who prepped at Slidell (La.) High, followed with a base hit and Matt Linton of East Central High singled in Lewallen. In the top of the second, Aaron Lee of Pearl River Central High led off with a walk, moved to second and third off ground-outs by Forrest Dungan of Columbia High and Ryan Best of Oak Grove High, but was left stranded when Braxton Lee of Picayune High grounded to the pitcher for the final out. The Bears tied it up in the bottom of the frame when lead off Aaron Moore walked and Conner Goodspeed was hit by a pitch. The duo moved to second and third off Luke Gipson sacrifice bunt and Moore scored off Alex Marshall sacrifice fly before Darron McKigney flew to center to end the inning. Southwest took the lead for good in the bottom of the third when Johnny McKenzie belted a one-out base hit and wound up at second on a throwing error and scored off German Hays single. Kade Scivicque then reached after being hit by a pitch before starter Brandon Pennington of Sumrall High retired two straight to end the inning. The Bears padded their lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, while The River scored its final run in the fifth. SMCC starter Shelby Johnson (2-3) got the win in his six-and-a-third innings on the mound, while Jared Fiorito, Tyler Kendrick, and Scivicque all saw relief duty in the seventh. Pennington (4-3) got the loss in going the distance. Livingston paced the Wildcats six-hit effort with a double and a single, while Carter, Aaron Lee, Lewallen, and Linton (one RBI) all had base hits. Southwest committed two errors in the game to Pearl River one. In the nightcap, things were knotted at 1-1 after one before the Bears took a short-lived 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second. PRCC tied it up in the top of the third before bombarding SMCC with four runs in the fifth. The Wildcats added solo runs in the top of the sixth and seventh frames. Byrd (5-2) got the win in his six innings of action, while reliever Bradley Rayborn of Purvis High pitched the seventh. Scivicque (1-3) went five frames in picking up the loss, while Jeffery Courville relieved in the sixth. PRCC finished with nine hits, led by Livingston with a home run and two singles (three RBIs), while Braxton Lee had three base hits, Lewallen belted two singles (one RBI), and Aaron Lee singled. Best also had an RBI for the Wildcats. Hayes led SMCC six-hit attack with a triple and a single, while Moore had two singles, Goodspeed doubled (one RBI), and McKigney singled. Pearl River committed one error in the game to Southwest five. The two teams eye a South Division rematch Saturday, April 28 with a 1 p.m. doubleheader in Wildcat Stadium in Poplarville, marking the 2012 regular-season finale for both squads. Pearl River returns to action when South Division rival Hinds plays host Friday in Raymond (1 p.m. doubleheader), before the Wildcats play host to division foe Gulf Coast Wednesday, April 11 (4 p.m. doubleheader) in Poplarville.
Submitted by braswell on April 4, 2012 - 10:07am