Jones sweeps Pearl River 11-2, 6-3 in ''Cat Fight II

POPLARVILLE Jones County Bobcats swept Pearl River Wildcats in Cat Fight II here Wednesday with 11-2 and 6-3 MACJC South Division victories. PRCC dropped to 21-13 overall and 7-7 in division play, while JCJC, which smacked a combined 26 hits in the twin bill, improved to 25-11 and 12-4. The two teams split in an earlier meeting played March 19 in Ellisville with the Bobcats taking a 6-2 win in the first game of the twin bill before the Wildcats rebounded with a 5-3 decision in the nightcap. In Wednesday first game, Pearl River went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first when James Abraham, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer who prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, drew a one-out walk, stole second base, and scored off a bloop single to right by B.J. Smith of Sumrall High. After Grae Ormon of Clinton High reached on an error, JCJC starter Andrew Pierce struck out Chase Lewallen of Sumrall High to end the inning. But the Bobcats quickly tied it up. Lead off Vito Perna doubled to right center field, moved to second and third off a ground out and a line out, and scored when Ryan Waters reached on an error before Graham Odom lined to second for the final out. The River went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame before Jones County took the lead for good in the top of the third. Wildcat starter Taylor Byrd of Petal High walked lead off batter Zach Allen, then Ladd Rhodes outran a bunt to first. Allen moved to third on Chad Guice fly out, setting the stage for Nick Ray two-run double to center. After Perna struck out, Darion Hamilton smacked an RBI double to left to make it 4-1 before Chase Headrick grounded to second for the final out. PRCC scored what would be its final run of the game in the bottom of the inning. Abraham got things rolling when he cracked a one-out, up-the-middle single , stole second an out later, and scored off Smith single. Ormon grounded out to second to end the inning. The Bobcats left runners stranded at second and third in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, while the Wildcats did the same in the bottom of the fourth. In the top of the sixth, lead off Odom reached on an error and moved to second off Allen sacrifice bunt before Rhodes walked. That prompted the mound exit of Byrd for Josh Hubbell of Forrest County AHS who walked Guice to load the bases. Hubbell then left the mound for Southeastern Louisiana signee Buck Bernard of Petal High who walked Ray to push in the Bobcats fifth run. Bernard was immediately relieved by Hunter Curtis of Petal High who struck out Perna before giving up a two-run single to right to make it 7-2 before Headrick grounded to the pitcher for the final out. The Wildcats went three up, three down in the bottom of the sixth and seventh; while Jones County added its final four runs in the top of the final frame. Roberts led off the inning with a walk, Odom singled to center, and Roberts courtesy runner Jarrett Jenkins scored off Allen single. An out later, Guice singled to load the bases before Ray struck out, but Perna followed with a two-run base hit. Hamilton drove in the final run with a single before Headrick flew to center for the final out. Pierce (6-1) got the win in going the distance, giving up five hits, striking out five, and walking one; while Byrd (4-3) got the loss in his five-and-one-thirds innings on the mound. He gave up seven hits, struck out three, and walked three; while Hubbell and Bernard each walked the only batter they faced in the sixth. Curtis gave up five hits, struck out two, and walked one. Hamilton paced the Bobcats 13-hit attack with a double and three singles (four RBIs), while Perna doubled and had two singles (two RBIs), Ray doubled (three RBIs), and Allen (one RBI), Guice, Odom, Rhodes, and Roberts (one RBI) all had base hits. Smith led the Wildcats with two singles (two RBIs), while Abraham, Lee, and Sanders all had base hits. PRCC committed three errors in the game to JCJC two. In the nightcap game, Pearl River left runners at first and third in the bottom of the first; but Jones County took the lead for good with a solo run in the top of the second. After Wildcat starter Robert Marzoni of Purvis High struck out lead off Hamilton, Headrick smacked a single to right and Odom followed suit with a base hit to right an out later. Allen answered with an RBI double down the left field line to make it 1-0 before Rhodes grounded to second for the final out. Ormon led off the bottom of the inning with a walk, but was thrown out at second on an attempted steal before Sanders and Lee followed with base hits to left field. Chase Toussaint of Petal High then reached on a fielder choice before Jordan Williams out of Christian County High in Hopkinsville, Ky., fouled out to end the inning. In the top of the third, Marzoni retired two straight before Perna and Hamilton cracked back-to-back singles and Headrick walked to load the bases, but Roberts flew to left for the final out. In the bottom of the frame, Bobcat starter Blake McIlwain two strike outs sandwiched two base on balls, but Pearl River left the runners stranded when Ormon fouled out to end the inning. In the top of the fourth, JCJC added its second run when Rhodes drew a two-out walk and eventually scored off a single by Guice, who was nailed in a rundown between first and second for the final out. McIlwain retired the side in the bottom of the inning, while the Bobcats added their third run in the top of the fifth. Ray led off with a single to right before Perna reached on an error. A strike out later, Marzoni belted Headrick with a pitch to load the bases and Ray scored when Roberts reached on a fielder choice. Odom grounded to short for the final out with runners at second and third. The Wildcats came alive in the bottom of the frame. Williams led off with a hard-hit double through second base, then Chase Lewallen of Sumrall High walked. McIlwain left the game at that point for Ryan Waters, who immediately retired Matthew Magee of Petal High with a fly out to left center before Smith lined a single to left to load the bases. Abraham followed with a two-run single to make ti 3-2. Ormon then reached on a fielder choice before Sanders grounded out to first to end the inning. Hubbell relieved Marzoni to kick off the sixth and retired two straight before walking Guice and giving up back-to-back singles to Ray and Perna. Perna base hit scored Guice, then Hamilton base hit scored Ray to make it 5-2. After Headrick loaded the bases with a single to right, Bernard relieved Hubbell and Kd Roberts the only batter he would face for the final out. Toussaint managed a one-out single in the bottom of the frame. Michael Peters of East Marion High took over the mound in the seventh and immediately walked Odom, who moved to second on Allen ground out and scored off Rhode single for the final run of the game. Guice and Ray both flew to center for the final two outs. Pearl River kept it interesting in the bottom of the inning. Lead off Magee reached on an error before Abraham singled an out later. Ormon then reached on a fielder choice, but loaded the bases via a Bobcat error. Out goes Waters for Perna, who immediately gave up an RBI line drive single to left center to Sanders to make it 6-3. After Lee reached on a fielder choice, Perna struck out Toussaint to end the game. McIlwain (3-3) got the win in his four innings on the mound, giving up four hits, striking out four, and walking five; while Waters threw two-and-a-third, giving up four hits and striking out one. Perna gave up a hit and recorded a strike out in the seventh. Marzoni (6-2) got the loss in his five innings of action, giving up eight hits, striking out two, walking three, and hitting one batter; while Hubbell gave up four hits and walked one in his two-thirds of an inning of relief. Bernard struck out the only batter he faced in the sixth, while Peters gave up a hit and walked one in the seventh. Again, Jones County finished with 13 hits. Hamilton (one RBI), Headrick, Perna (one RBI), and Ray all had two singles a piece; while Allen doubled (one RBI) and Guice (one RBI), Odom, Rhodes, and Roberts all had base hits. Williams paced the Wildcats nine-hit effort with a double and single, while Abraham (two RBIs) and Sanders had two base hits each. Lee, Smith, and Toussaint all had singles. Each team committed two errors in the contest. Pearl River returns to action Thursday when it travels to Baton Rouge CC in Baton Rouge, La., for a 4 p.m. doubleheader, then resumes MACJC South Division action Saturday when Southwest Mississippi visits for a 1 p.m. twin bill.

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