Pearl River splits with Perk in South Division twin bill

PERKINSTON Nineteenth-ranked Pearl River splits with arch-rival Mississippi Gulf Coast in MACJC South Division doubleheader baseball action here Saturday on Curly Farris Field, winning the first game 3-0 before falling 4-3 in a wild, wild finish in the eight-inning nightcap contest.In the second game, the visiting Wildcats led 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh only to see the host Bulldogs tie it up in the bottom of the frame. The River went up 3-2 via an RBI-double by Chad Livingston in the top of the eighth only to see lead off J.C. Cassidy smack a game-tying homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the inning.An ground out later, Josh Favaloro reached on an error before being thrown out at third on the coattail of Derek Whitfield single to right. After a pitching change, Michael Gilbert reached on an error and right fielder Chase Toussaint throw to third to nail Whitfield at third careened off an infield official into left and Whitfield sped home with the game-ending run for the victory.”That one crazy way to lose a baseball game, isnt it?,” said PRCC head coach Josh Hoffpauir. “When you lose one that way, it just wasnt meant for the Wildcats to win that one.”Gulf Coast now stands at 13-9 overall and 1-3 in division play, while Pearl River is 16-6and 2-2.In the first game, things were scoreless for the first two innings, but PRCC went up 1-0 in the top of the third off a lead off homer by Matt Linton out of East Central High. In the bottom of the frame, MGCCC left runners at first and third via a base on balls and a base hit by Gilbert.An inning late, the Wildcats padded their lead when lead off Krisjohn Wilkerson out of St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis singled, moved to second off a sacrifice bunt by Austin Carter of Sumrall High, then on to third via Linton fly out to right center before scoring off a double to left field by Ryan Best of Oak Grove High.In the bottom of the sixth, Daniel Miles drew a one-out walk, moved to second off a wild pick off throw and on to third off a passed ball, but was thrown out at home when Dieter Hamilton singled to center.Pearl River ended the scoring in the top of the seventh when Wilkerson drew a lead off walk, stole second, and scored off back-to-back sacrifice bunts by Carter and Linton.Starter Ryan Deemes (2-0) out of Holy Cross High in Chalmette, La., got the win in his five innings on the mound. He gave up two hits, struck out two, and walked three before Scott Ashford out of Catholic High in Baton Rouge relieved for the sixth, giving up one hit and walking a batter. Anthony Lusco of Bay High pitched the seventh.Starter Stuart Holmes (3-3) got the loss in his six innings of action, giving up seven hits and striking out four; while Chad Reeves pitched the seventh and walked a batter.Linton led The River at the plate with a home run (two RBIs), while Best (one RBI) and Livingston, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer out of Slidell (La.) High, both doubled. Marcus Lawton Jr. of Biloxi High, Chase Lewallen of Sumrall High, Toussaint, out of Petal High, and Wilkerson all had base hits.Gilbert, Hamilton, and Ben Slaton all singled for Gulf Coast.PRCC played error free, while MGCCC had one defensive miscue.In the second game, things were scoreless for the first four innings, but the Wildcats put up a run in the fifth off a lead off home run by Wilkerson over the right field fence before Lawton grounded out and starter Jordan Mata Kd Carter and Linton for the final outs.Pearl River added another run in the sixth when Braxton Lee of Picayune High drew a one-out walk, which prompted Mata mound exit for Matt Lee. After Braxton Lee stole second, Toussaint followed with an RBI single. Lewallen followed with a walk, which saw Matt Lee relieved by Daniel Wineski.Livingston reached on fielder choice before Toussaint was thrown out at home. After the base runners moved to second and third on a wild pick off throw, Wilkerson was Kd for the final out.The Wildcats threatened in the top of the seventh when Clint Willoughby of Clinton High cracked a one-out single and courtesy runner DaVonte Linear of Wayne County High stole second before Best walked. The runners moved to second and third before Wineski struck out Braxton lee for the final out.In the bottom of the inning, Gavin Culpepper led off with a single to right and wound up at third off Hamilton ensuing base hit. Hamilton moved to second off Gilbert ground out to short and Culpepper scored off Craig Wilson base hit to right. Jovan Thigpen was then intentionally walked to load the bases and Gilbert sacrifice to center tied it up at 2-2 before Michael Paul struck out to end the inning.In the extra inning, Lewallen drew a one-out walk and Livingston followed with his RBI double to the center field wall before Wilkerson and Forrest Dungan of Columbia High were retired for the final outs.After Cassidy lead off homer in the bottom of the inning, Wildcat starter Christian Talley, a University of Alabama transfer who prepped at Hancock County High, was relieved by Ashford retired the first batter he faced before the second reached on an error. The base runner was nailed at third when Whitfield singled before Gilbert base hit resulted in the wild finish.Wineski (1-0) got the win, giving up two hits, striking out two, and walking two; while starter Mata went five-and-a-third, giving up four hits, striking out five, and walking one. Matt Lee faced to batters in the sixth, giving up a hit and a base on balls.Ashford (0-1) got the loss despite facing only three batters. He gave up one hit, while starter Talley went seven innings, giving up eight hits, striking out six, and walking one. Cody Conkle of Petal High faced the last batter in the eighth.Pearl River finished with seven hits, led by Livingston double and single (one RBI), while Wilkerson homered (one RBI), and Braxton Lee, Lewallen, Toussaint, and Willoughby all had base hits.Wilson paced the Bulldogs eight-hit effort with two singles (one RBI), while Cassidy homered and Gilbert (two RBIs), Taylor Hardy, Michael Paul, and Slaton all singled.PRCC committed three errors in the game to MGCCC one.Pearl River and Gulf Coast eye a South Division rematch Wednesday, April 11, with a 4 p.m. doubleheader in Poplarville.The Wildcats are one of four MACJC teams and five Region 23 teams in the latest NJCAA Division II baseball poll. Besides The River, other MACJC teams (all in Region 23) include Hinds at No. 4, Itawamba at No. 13, and Copiah-Lincoln at No. 20; while Region 23 member LSU-Eunice is ranked No. 1.Pearl River returns to action Tuesday when it hosts South Division rival Jones County in a 4 p.m. doubleheader in Wildcat Stadium before traveling to MACJC non-division foe Mississippi Delta in Moorhead Friday for a 1 p.m. twin bill.

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