POPLARVILLE Pearl River Wildcats opened their 2012 baseball season in grand style here Wednesday, sweeping Bishop State (Ala.) with 10-0 and 4-2 victories. PRCC won the first game in five innings via the 10-run rule, but the visiting Wildcat squad gave the host Wildcats all they could handle in the nightcap. BSCC starting pitcher Patrick Schelah gave up only two hits in his five innings on the mound, while Bishop batters collected five singles in the loss. Bishop State dropped to 0-6 with the sweep, while Pearl River improved to 2-0. In the first game, River starter Taylor Byrd of Petal High immediately put two on in the top of the first with a hit batter and a base on balls. After striking out Nick Thompson, Evan Murray hit into a double play for the final outs. In the bottom of the frame, PRCC cashed in big time with six runs off triples by Marcus Lawton Jr. of Biloxi High and Ryan Best of Oak Grove High, a single by Chase Toussaint of Petal High, three walks, and a hit batter. After BSCC went three up, three down in the top of the second, Pearl River padded its lead in the bottom of the frame when Toussaint reached on an error, stole second, and scored off Lawton single to left. After Matt Linton, a Moss Point native who prepped at East Central High, drew a two-out walk, designated hitter Clint Willoughby of Clinton High singled in Toussaint to make it 8-0 before Austin Carter of Sumrall High struck out to end the inning. The third inning was scoreless, while Bishop State threatened in the top of the fourth when lead off Nick Thompson reached on an error and Randy Bishop walked a strikeout later. After Daniel Murphy reached on a fielder choice, Byrd struck out Jake Dukes with runners at first and third. Pearl River padded its lead in the bottom of the frame when Chad Livingston of Slidell (La.) High drew a one-out walk and designated runner DaVonte Linear of Wayne County High stole second and eventually scored when Lawton reached on an error. Anthony Lusco of Bay High relieved Byrd in the top of the fifth and retired the side, while Willoughby led off the bottom of the inning with a double down the third-base line, moved to third on a pop out by Austin Carter of Petal High, and scored the game-ending run off Best single to left. Byrd (1-0) got the win in his four innings on the mound, giving up one hit, striking out two, walking two, and hitting a batter; while Lusco struck out on in the fifth. BSCC starter Bishop (0-2) got the loss in his two innings of action, giving up five hits, striking out one, walking four, and hitting a batter. Carlos Rios, who suited up for Pearl River a year ago, relieved in the third and gave up two hits and walked a batter. Don Ompson singled for Bishop State only hit of the game, while Best and Lawton paced The River seven-hit effort, as the duo both tripled and singled and accounted for two RBIs each; while Willoughby doubled and singled (one RBI). Toussaint singled, while Linton and Livingston both had RBIs for PRCC. Each team committed an error in the contest. In the nightcap, Pearl River went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first when it loaded the bases off base on balls by Braxton Lee of Picayune High and Toussaint and left center field double by Aaron Lee of Pearl River Central. Livingston and Lawton followed with RBI sacrifices. After a scoreless second inning, Bishop loaded the bases in the top of the third when Jake Dukes and Ompson led off with singles and Ty Singletary was belted by a pitch, but the visitors couldnt cash in until to the top of the fourth. In that frame, Evan Murray and Bishop led off with base hits then back-to-back walks by PRCC starter Brandon Pennington of Sumrall High pushed in a run with the bases loaded. The River followed with an impressive double play before Ompson grounded to second for the final out. In the bottom of the fourth, Lawton led off with a walk, moved to second off Linton ground out and on to third on a passed ball before scoring on Willoughby single. Best then hit into a double play to end the inning. After a scoreless fifth, Bishop added a run in the top of the sixth. Pennington relinquished the mound for Roy Gasaway Jr. of Pascagoula High who immediately put two on via a hit batter and walk. That prompted his exit and the arrival of Scott Ashford out of Catholic High in Baton Rouge, La., who saw Jake Dukes reach on an error that pushed in BSCC final run to make it 3-2. After Ashford walked Ompson, he struck out Michael Vandillon for the final out. In the bottom of the inning, Livingston led off with a walk and Lawton was belted by a pitch before Linton reached on a fielder choice. Willoughby ensuing sacrifice scored the game final run. Martin Anderson relieved Ashford in the seventh and the freshman out of Cedar Creek High in Calhoun, La., walked lead off Singletary before striking out three straight to end the game. Pennington (1-0) got the win in his five innings on the mound, giving up five hits, striking out four, walking two, and hitting two batters; while Gasaway pitched one-third of the sixth inning, walking one and hitting a batter. Ashford relieved in the sixth, striking out three and walking two, while Anderson had three strikeouts in the seventh. BSCC starter Patrick Schelah (0-2) got the loss in his five innings of action, giving up two hits, striking out two, walking two, and hitting a batter; while Corey Henning relieved in the sixth, striking out one, walking one, and hitting a batter. Bishop, Dukes (one RBI), Murrary, Ompson, and Nick Thompson all had base hits for BSCC, while Jason Gates had an RBI. Lee doubled for The River, while Willoughby singled (two RBIs). Linton and Livingston had RBIs for PRCC. The River committed two errors in the game, while Bishop State played error free. Pearl River returns to action Friday when it travels to East Central CC in Decatur to take on Wallace-Hanceville CC (Ala.) at 12 noon and Baton Rouge CC (La.) at 5 p.m. before heading to LSU-Eunice (La.) in Eunice, La., Tuesday for a 4 p.m. doubleheader.
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