ELLISVILLE Pearl River Wildcats split with the arch-rival Jones County Bobcats in their MACJC South Division openers here Saturday, falling 6-2 in the first game of the doubleheader before rebounding with a 5-3 victory in the nightcap game. PRCC is now 14-6 overall and 1-1 in division play, while JCJC is 15-8 and 2-2. After the Wildcats left runners at first and second in the top of the first in the opening contest, the Bobcats scored three in the bottom of the frame off an error and four straight singles. Ladd Rhodes grounded to second for the first out, while two other Bobcat base runners were thrown out at home. In the top of the second, designated hitter and lead off Dakota Baker of Purvis High was hit by a pitch and Grae Ormon of Clinton High followed with a double down the third-base line. Baker scored off a fly out by Chase Lewallen of Sumrall High before Bobcat starter Vito Perna retired two straight to end the inning. JCJC padded its lead in the bottom of the frame when lead off Graham Odom singled, stole second, moved to third on Rhodes fly out, and scored off Guice two-out single to make it 4-1. That prompted the mound exit for Wildcat starter Buck Bernard, a Southeastern Louisiana signee who prepped at Petal high, for reliever Josh Hubbell of Forrest County AHS. Hubbell immediately gave up an RBI double to Perna for the Bobcats fifth run before Guice was nailed at home for the final out. In the top of the third, lead off Jordan Williams out of Christian County High in Hopkinsville, Ky., wound up at second on an error and courtesy runner Davonte Lanier of Wayne County High scored two outs later off a triple by B.J. Smith of Sumrall High to make it 5-2 before Perna struck out Baker for the final out. That score remained intact until the bottom of the fifth when Jones County scored the final run of the game. Perna led off with a single to right and courtesy runner Jarrett Jenkins stole second, moved to third on a passed ball, and eventually scored on a passed ball. The Bobcats got two more runners on via back-to-back Wildcat errors before Zach Allen grounded to short for the final out. Perna (2-0) got the win in his five-and-one-thirds innings on the mound, giving up four hits, striking out five, walking two, and hitting one batter; while Ryan Waters relieved in the sixth, pitching two-thirds of an inning, striking out one. Andrew Pierce closed it out in the seventh. Bernard (3-2) got the loss in his one-and-two-thirds innings, giving up seven hits and hitting one batter; while Hubbell went three-and-one-thirds, giving up four hits, striking out two, and walking one. Hunter Curtis of Petal High relieved in the sixth. PRCC finished with five hits, led by Ormon double and single; while Smith tripled (one RBI), and Lewallen (one RBI) and Matthew Magee of Petal High both singled. Perna paced the Bobcats 11-hit attack with a double and two singles (two RBIs), while Headrick had two singles and Allen, Dedeaux (one RBI), Guice (one RBI), Hamilton (one RBI), Odom, and Nick Ray all had base hits. Pearl River committed three errors in the game to Jones County one. After a scoreless first inning in the nightcap contest, the Wildcats went up 2-0 in the top of the second when Smith led off with a walk and Ormon followed with a single. After James Abraham, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer who prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, struck out, Smith scored on a passed ball and Ormon scored off a sacrifice by Aaron Lee of Pearl River Central High before Chase Toussaint of Petal High grounded to third for the final out. JCJC added a solo run in the bottom of the frame when Ryan Roberts cracked a one-out single and Odom followed with a base on balls. Courtesy runner Jenkins and Odom moved to second and third on a passed ball before Allen reached on an error to load the bases. Ladd Rhodes sacrifice scored Jenkins before Guice popped out to end the inning. After Bobcat starter Logan Riddell struck out three and gave up a single to Magee in the top of the third, Jones County tied it up in the bottom of the inning when Perna smashed a one-out solo homer over the left field wall. After Wildcat starter Robert Marzoni answered by striking out Hamilton, he belted Headrick with a pitch, gave up a single to Roberts, and walked Odom to load the bases before Allen grounded to short for the final out. In the top of the fourth, Abraham smashed a one-out double to center field before Lewallen singled to right. Lee single to left scored Abraham before Toussaint sac bunt moved runners to second and third, setting the stage for Williams two-run single to make it 5-2. Riddell Kd Magee for the final out. In the bottom of the inning, Rhodes led off with a double down the first-base line and scored an out later off Ray double to left to cut The River lead to two. Beau Underwood out of St. Patrick High in Biloxi relieved Marzoni at that point and he immediately struck out Perna before walking two straight to load the bases. Out goes Underwood and in comes Taylor Byrd of Petal High who retired Roberts to end the threat and the inning. PRCC went three up, three down in the top of the fifth, while Byrd opened the bottom of the frame with two straight walks before striking out Rhodes. Curtis arrived in relief at that point and retired two straight with runners at first and third. After a scoreless sixth, Jaron Bailey relieved Riddell to start the seventh, giving up only a single to Magee; while Jared Bond of Denham Springs (La.) High pitched the bottom of the final inning for the Wildcats. He gave up a two-out single after striking out lead off Odom. Marzoni (4-0) got the win in his three-and-one-thirds innings on the mound, giving up five hits, walking four, and hitting a batter; while Underwood pitched one-third of an inning, striking out one and walking two. Byrd went two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit, striking out one, and walking two; while Curtis gave up a hit, as did Bond, who also recorded one strike out. Riddell (3-3) got the loss in his six innings of action, giving up seven hits, striking out seven, and walking one; while Bailey gave up one hit in the seventh. Magee paced PRCC eight-hit effort with three singles, while Abraham doubled (one RBI) and Lee (two RBIs), Lewallen, Ormon, and Williams (two RBIs) all had singles. Perna led JCJC eight-hit attack with a home runs and single (one RBI), while Rhodes doubled and singled (one RBI), Roberts had two singles, Ray doubled (one RBI), and Guice singled. The Wildcats played error free, while the Bobcats had one defensive miscue. Pearl River returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Southwest Mississippi in Summit for a 4 p.m. South Division doubleheader before hosting division rival East Central Saturday in a 1 p.m. twin bill in Poplarville.
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