River sweeps Hinds

            POPLARVILLE — Ninth-ranked Pearl River swept Hinds in MACJC South Division doubleheader baseball action here Wednesday, taking a lopsided 10-2 win in the first game before pulling out a 2-1 nailbiter in the bottom of the final frame in the nightcap.
            With the wins, the Wildcats’ 15-5 division mark pushes them first place in the South and are now 32-10 overall. Hinds, on the other hand, dropped to 15-22 and 5-13.
            In the opening game, Pearl River used a huge seven-run second inning to propel itself to victory. Paul Pickerrell out of John Hardin High in Elizabethtown, Ky., belted a three-run triple in the second.
            Starter Ryan Deemes (5-2), a Nicholls State (La.) signee who prepped at Holy Cross High in Chalmette, La., got the win in going the distance; giving up six hits, striking out four, and walking three.
            Hinds starter John Gault (2-4) was the losing pitcher in his two innings on the mound, giving up five hits, striking out two, and walking one; while Kirk Thornton relieved in the third. He went four frames, giving up five hits, striking out three, and walking one.
            Clyde Kendrick and Caleb Upton paced the Eagles’ six-hit effort with two singles each, while Brian Mills had an RBI double and Austin Hartzog an RBI base hit.
            PRCC finished with 10 hits, led by Forrest Dungan of Columbia High with three singles (one RBI) and Derek Martin of Poplarville High with two singles (one RBI). Pickerrell tripled (three RBIs), Krisjon Wilkerson out fo St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis doubled, and Darius Knight of Pearl High (two RBIs), Braxton Lee of Picayune High (one RBI), and Nathan Pugh of Starkville High all had base hits.
            The Wildcats committed two errors in the game to the Eagles none.
            In the nightcap, River starter Jake Brumfield out of Adams Christian Academy in Natchez hurled a four-hitter, striking out four, and walking three to keep his mound mark perfect at 8-0.
 
            Hinds went up 1-0 in the top of the third, while Pearl River tied it up in the bottom of the fourth. That stalemate remained intact until the bottom of the seventh when Eagle reliever Chase Cater walked Joe Kirkland of Moss Point High with the bases loaded to end the game.
            HCC starter Hunter Divic (2-5) got the loss in his six-and-a-third innings on the mound, giving up five hits, striking out five, and walking four; while Cater pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out one and walking two.
            Conner Goodspeed led the Eagles with three base hits, while Beau Wallace had an RBI single.
            PRCC finished with five hits — all singles by Dungan, Knight, Martin, Pickerrell, and Pugh. Darien Brown of Hattiesburg High and Kirkland each had an RBI for the Wildcats.
            Hinds committed two errors in the game to Pearl River’s none.
            With two division doubleheaders remaining in the regular season — Tuesday at Jones County in Ellisville (4 p.m. start) and Saturday, April 27 at Southwest Mississippi in Summit (1 p.m. start) — Pearl River leads the South.
            JCJC is second at 14-6, followed by East Central at 12-6, Mississippi Gulf Coast at 8-10, Southwest Mississippi at 5-11, and Hinds and Copiah-Lincoln with 5-13 marks.
            In the North, Northeast Mississippi leads the way at 15-5, followed by Northwest Mississippi at 13-7, Mississippi Delta at 11-7, Itawamba at 9-9, East Mississippi at 9-11, Holmes at 7-11, and Coahoma at 2-16.
            The top four finishers from the North and South divisions earn berths in four MACJC playoff series (best of three) set for May 3-4 — North No. 1 hosts South No. 4, North No. 2 hosts South No. 3, South No. 1 hosts North No. 4, and South No. 2 hosts North No. 3.
            The series’ winners cop berths in May 10-12's MACJC State Tournament hosted by the South Division’s top-seeded team. If no South team wins its playoff series, the tournament will be played at the North’s top-seeded team.

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