River splits at East Central

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DECATUR Pearl River Wildcats split with East Central in MACJC South Division baseball action here Tuesday, taking a 7-2 victory in the first game of the doubleheader in eight innings before falling 9-3 in the nightcap to the Warriors. PRCC is now 24-15 overall and 10-8 in division play, while ECCC is 24-16 and 11-9. The Wildcats are currently in third place in the division behind No. 1 Jones County (13-5) and Mississippi Gulf Coast (10-6), while the Warriors are in fourth. The two teams split in an earlier meeting played March 26 in Poplarville with the East Central taking a 2-1 win in the first game of the twin bill before the Wildcats rebounded with an 8-5 decision in the second game. In Tuesday first game, ECCC went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning before PRCC tied it up after three with solo runs in the top of the second and third. That 2-2 stalemate remained intact until to the top of the eighth when The River unleashed a five-run barrage to take the win. Jared Bond (2-0) of Denham Springs (La.) High got the win after relieving starter Taylor Byrd of Petal High in the sixth. Byrd pitched five-and-two-thirds innings. Colton Mitchell (5-2) got the loss after relieving starter Bobby Bryan in the seventh. He pitched one-and-one-thirds innings before Tyler Dalton pitched the eighth. James Abraham, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer who prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, paced Pearl River 12-hit attack with a double and two singles; while Aaron Lee of Pearl River Central High had three singles, Derek Sanders of Simpson Academy a double and a single, Chase Toussaint of Petal High homered, and Chase Lewallen and B.J. Smith, both of Sumrall High, and Jordan Williams out of Christian County High in Hopkinsville, Ky., all had base hits. East Central finished with seven hits, led by Charles Hill, B.J. Martin, and Darmaal Moore with two singles a piece; while Richie Long singled. The Warriors committed three errors in the game to the Wildcats none. In the nightcap game, PRCC went up 1-0 in the top of the first, but ECCC answered with four including a three-run homer by Martin in the bottom of the frame and never looked back. In the bottom of the third, Hill grand slam homer highlighted East Central five-run effort to make it 9-1. Pearl River added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to end the scoring. Starter Willard Bacon (5-1) got the win in his five innings on the mound, while Brock Ward relieved in the sixth and closed it out. Starter Robert Marzoni (6-3) of Purvis High got the loss in his two innings on the mound, while Beau Underwood out of St. Patrick High in Biloxi relieved in the third and Carlos Rios of Oak Grove High took over in the sixth. The Wildcats finished with six hits, led by Lewallen and Grae Orman of Clinton High with two singles each; while Smith and Toussaint had singles. The Warriors finished with seven hits, led by Hill home run and double; while Long doubled and singled, Martin homered, Carlos Leal doubled, and Tyler Brant singled. Pearl River resumes MACJC South Division play when it visits rival Mississippi Gulf Coast Friday for a 4 p.m. doubleheader before returning home to Wildcat Stadium Wednesday, April 27, to host division foe Hinds in a 4 p.m. twin bill. The Wildcats wrap their regular season Saturday, April 20, against division rival Copiah-Lincoln in a 1 p.m. doubleheader in Wesson.