Playoff-bound River splits at Gulf Coast

          PERKINSTON --- Pearl River’s Wildcats are playoff-bound as the MACJC South Division’s No. 3 seed after a doubleheader split here Saturday with archrival Mississippi Gulf Coast.
            PRCC, 26-20 overall and 12-12 in division play, suffered a 12-0 shutout in seven innings of its nine-inning first game with MGCCC, but bounced back with a 10-9 victory in the seven-inning nightcap that took 10 innings to complete.
            Gulf Coast ended its season at 20-21 and 10-14.
            The South No. 3 Wildcats clinched a berth in one of four MACJC best-of-three playoff series and will travel to North No. 2 Northeast Mississippi next Friday and Saturday to shoot for a berth in May 8-10’s MACJC State Tournament.
            After a scoreless first inning in Saturday’s opening game, the host Bulldogs went up 2-0 in the bottom of the second when Patrick McMahon belted a one-out solo homer and D.O. Farmer outran an infield grounder for a base hit moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored a strikeout later off Richie Clark’s single to left field. PRCC starter Brandon Pennington of Sumrall High then struck out James Land to end the inning.
            The third and fourth frames were scoreless, but the Bulldogs devoured the Wildcats with a nine-run barrage in the bottom of the fifth and never looked back.
            Tyler Quave belted a grand slam homer to pump Gulf Coast’s lead to 6-0, then Pennington reloaded the bases an out later and was relieved by Allen Cowart of Pascagoula High who immediately gave up a three-run double to Garrett Odom to make it 9-0.
            Hunter Black then singled before Richie Clark reached on a fielder’s choice driving in a 10th run before back-to-back base hits by Land and Quave scored an 11th. Colton Lee of Pearl River Central High relieved Cowart at the point and retired Jacob Swiney with a fly out to center to end the inning.
            All told, 14 Bulldogs batted in the frame.
            Pearl River managed a base runner in the sixth when Tracy Hadley of Pascagoula High cracked a two-out single to left field, while Lee loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame with two walks and a hit batter before exiting the mound for Trey Grice of Forrest County AHS. Grice belted Black --- the first Bulldog batter he faced --- with a pitch to push in the game’s final run before retiring Clark and Land with fly outs.
            Bulldog starter Cam Cameron struck out the side in the top of the seventh and the game ended via the 10-run rule.
            Cameron (4-0) got the win in pitching the six-and-a-half-inning distance of the 10-inning game, giving up a mere two hits and striking out eight.
            Pennington (4-4) got the loss in his four-and-a-third innings of work, giving up nine hits, striking out eight, and walking one, while Cowart pitched one-third of an inning of relief, giving up four hits, Carlos Lott of Pascagoula High two-thirds of an inning, walking two, and Grice two-thirds of an inning.
            Hadley and Nathan Pugh of Starkville managed singles for the Wildcats, while Quave paced the Bulldogs’ 12-hit attack with a grand slam homer and a single (five RBIs). Black (one RBI), Clark (two RBIs), Farmer, and Land had two singles a piece for Gulf Coast, while McMahon homered (one RBI), Odom doubled (three RBIs), and Adam Cagnina singled.
            Each team committed an error in the game.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats led 9-8 heading into the seventh, but Gulf Coast’s James Land bashed a solo homer to tie it up in the bottom of the frame and send things into extra innings.
            With runners at second and third in the top of the 10th, Adam Smith of Pascagoula High cracked an RBI sacrifice to right field for the game-winning run.
            Jacob Taylor (3-0) of Picayune High got the win after relieving in the eighth. After starter Philip Chandler of Stone County High was relieved in the first after walking three batters, Luke McGee, an Ohio State transfer who prepped at Wooster (Oh.) High relieved for one-and-a-third innings, while Lee relieved for five-and-two-thirds until Taylor took over the mound.
            Koby Ross (3-1) got the loss after relieving in the 10th, while Ryne Long started and went one inning, giving up three hits, striking out one, and walking two. Kyle Cumlander pitched an inning of relief, giving up a hit, striking out one, and walking two, Taylor Olsen one-third of a frame, giving up a hit and a walk, Ryan Henry three-and-two-thirds, giving up four hits, striking out four, and walking four, Winston Wilson two innings, giving up three hits, striking out one, and walking one, Chris Wease hit the only batter he faced with a pitch, and Chase Blackwell one inning, giving up two hits.
            Kreg Garner of Northwest Rankin High paced The River’s 12-hit attack with two home runs and a single (four RBIs), while Kyle Dolan of Forrest County AHS had a double and two singles (one RBI), Hadley doubled and singled (two RBIs), and Lamar Anthony of Vicksburg High, Deanzel Johnson out of Lanier High in Jackson, Derrick Mount of Harrison Central High, and Pugh (one RBI) all had base hits. Smith also had an RBI for the Wildcats.
            The two teams split in a previous doubleheader played April 1 in Poplarville with the Wildcats taking a 3-2 win in the first game before falling 16-3 (six innings) in the nightcap.
            Gulf Coast ended its season with the loss.
            Other best-of-three series set for next weekend include South No. 1 Jones County hosting North No. 4 Holmes in Ellisville, North No. 1 East Mississippi hosting South No. 4 East Central in Scooba, and South No. 2 Hinds hosting North No. 3 Northwest Mississippi in Raymond.
The winners of all four series will comprise the field of the MACJC State Tournament set for May 8-10 at the highest-seeded North team winning its playoff series. If no North team wins its series, the tournament will be played at the home field of the highest-seeded South squad.
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MACJC South Division Baseball Doubleheader Played
Saturday, April 26, 2014 @ Perkinston, MS
Pearl River           (25-20, 11-12)  000    000    0XX  --    0        2      1
Miss. Gulf Coast  (20-20, 10-13)  020    091    XXX  --  12     12      1
WP: Cam Cameron (4-0), starter, distance, , 2 hits, 8 K.
Also Pitching: None.
Catcher: Hunter Black.
LP: Brandon Pennington (4-4), starter, 4.1 innings, 9 hits, 8 K, 1 BB.
Also Pitching: Allen Cowart (5), .1 inning, 4 hits; Carlos Lott (5), .2 inning, 2 BB; Trey Grice (6), .2 inning.
Catcher: Kreg Garner, Houston Davenport.
Pearl River: Tracy Hadley 1B, Nathan Pugh 1B.
Miss. Gulf Coast: Tyler Quave HR (grand slam), 1B (5 RBI); Hunter Black 2-1B (RBI), Richie Clark 2-1B (2 RBI), D.O. Farmer 2-1B, James Land 2-1B, Patrick McMahon HR (RBI), Garrett Odom 2B (3 RBI), Adam Cagnina 1B.
Pearl River           (26-20, 12-12)  332    001    000    1  --  10      12      3
Miss. Gulf Coast  (20-21, 10-14)  520    100    100    0  --    9         9      1
WP: Jacob Taylor (3-0), relieved in 8th, 2.2 innings, 1 hit, 3 K, 1 BB.
Also Pitching: Philip Chandler, starter, 0 innings, 3 BB (3 earned runs); Luke McGee (1), 1.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 K, 3 BB; Colton Lee (3), 5.2 innings, 5 hits, 5 K, 2 BB.
Catcher: Kreg Garner.
LP: Koby Ross (3-1), relieved in 10th, 1 inning.
Also Pitching: Ryne Long, starter, 1 inning, 3 hits, 1 K, 2 BB; Kyle Cumlander, 1 inning, 1 hit, 1 K, 2 BB; Taylor Olsen .1 inning, 1 hit, 1 BB; Ryan Henry, 3.2 innings, 2 hits, 4 K, 4 BB;  Winston Wilson, 2 innings, 3 hits, 1 K, 1 BB; Chris Wease, 0 inning, 1 HBP, Chase Blackwell, 1 inning, 2 hits.
Catcher: Hunter Black.
Pearl River: Kreg Garner 2-HR, 1B (4 RBI); Kyle Dolan 2B, 2-1B (RBI); Tracy Hadley 2B, 1B (2 RBI); Lamar Anthony 1B, Deanzel Johnson 1B, Derrick Mount 1B, Nathan Pugh 1B (RBI). Adam Smith RBI.
Miss. Gulf Coast: James Land HR, 1B (RBI); Tyler Quave 3B, 1B; Richie Clark 2B, 1B (2 RBI); Adam Cagnina 1B (RBI), D.O. Farmer 1B (RBI), Patrick McMahon. Hunter Black RBI, Jacob Swiney RBI.
NOTE: Saturday’s doubleheader was the regular season finale for both Pearl River and Miss. Gulf Coast. PRCC and MGCCC split in a previous division doubleheader played April 1 in Poplarville. PRCC won the first game 3-2 before falling to MGCCC 16-3 (six innings).
UP NEXT: Pearl River clinched the South Division’s No. 3 seed and will travel to North No. 2 Northeast Miss. next Friday and Saturday for an MACJC best-of-three series in Booneville. South No. 1 Jones County will host a best-of-three against North No. 4 Holmes in Ellisville, North No. 1 East Mississippi hosts South No. 4 East Central in Scooba, and South No. 2 Hinds hosts North No. 3 Northwest Miss. in Raymond.

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