River splits with East Central

POPLARVILLE Pearl River Wildcats split with East Central Warriors in MACJC South Division baseball action here Saturday, falling 2-1 in the first game of the doubleheader before rallying late in the nightcap to take an 8-5 come-from-behind victory. PRCC is now 16-8 overall and 3-3 in division play, while ECCC is 16-10 and 5-3. In the first game, East Central went up 1-0 in the top of the second off an RBI single by Tanner Noakley before Pearl River knotted it up with a solo run in the bottom of the fifth off an RBI single by Aaron Lee of Pearl River Central High. That stalemate remained intact until Kyle Moore smacked the game-winning solo home run in the top of the seventh. Starter Colton Mitchell (4-0) got the win in his six-and-two-thirds innings on the mound, giving up five hits, striking out nine, and walking one; while Mitchell Wooten relieved in the seventh and retired the final batter. Wildcat starter Buck Bernard (3-3), a Southeastern Louisiana signee who prepped at Petal High, got the loss in going the distance, giving up five hits, striking out five, and walking one. Moore homer led the Warriors effort at the plate, while Charles Hill, B.J. Martin, Jeremy May, and Noakley (one RBI) all singled. Chase Lewallen of Sumrall High and Chase Toussaint of Petal High both cracked doubles and singles to pace the Wildcats, while B.J. Smith of Sumrall High doubled and Lee singled (one RBI). Pearl River committed one error in the contest to East Central none. After the first and second innings were scoreless in the second game, ECCC went up 3-0 in the top of the third. Hill got things started when he cracked a one-out single, stole second, and scored off Vincent Kortbawi double to left center an out later. Wildcat starter Robert Marzoni of Purvis High then belted Martin with a pitch before giving up an RBI double to Richie Long. Martin scored off a wild pick off throw to make it 3-0 before Marzoni Kd Tyler Brant for the final out. In the bottom of the frame, Jordan Williams out of Christian County High in Hopkinsville, Ky., and James Abraham, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer who prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, drew back-to-back one-out walks. The pair moved to second and third via a double steal and Williams courtesy runner Davonte Lanier of Wayne County High scored off a sacrifice by Matthew Magee of Petal High before Smith grounded out to second to end the inning. After the Warriors went three up, three down in the top of the fourth, Tyler Dalton relieved ECCC starter Pervis Mann in the bottom of the frame in which Pearl River took the lead. Lewallen and Derek Sanders of Simpson Academy got The River rolling with back-to-back one-out singles and Lee followed with a single to center scoring Lewallen. With runners at second and third, Dalton was tagged with a balk, scoring Sanders to knot thing up at 3-3. After Toussaint reached on an error, Dalton exited the mound for Cal Cossich, who immediately saw Williams sacrifice Lee home for a short-lived, one-run lead. Abraham and Magee drew back-to-back walks to load the bases before Smith struck out to end the inning. Hill led off the top of the fifth with a walk and moved to second off Mays sacrifice bunt, which prompted the mound exit of Marzoni for Jared Bond of Denham Springs (La.) High. Bond gave up an RBI single to Kortbawi the only batter he faced to tie it up at 4-4 before Beau Underwood out of St. Patrick High in Biloxi relieved and gave up back-to-back singles to Martin and Long to load the bases. Underwood then walked Brant to give the Warriors a go-ahead run before he relinquished the mound to Hunter Curtis of Petal High, who saw Carlos Leal hit into a double play to end the threat. Lewallen smacked a one-out single and Sanders reached on an error in the bottom of the frame, but Lee hit into a double play to end the inning. East Central managed one base runner in the top of the sixth off a Noakley single, while The River iced the game in the bottom of the inning. Toussaint led off with an up-the-middle base hit before Williams reached on a fielder choice. Abraham reached on an error and with runners at first and third, Willard Bacon relieved Cossich. Magee sacrifice to center scored courtesy runner Lanier to tie it up at 5-5, then Smith tripled down the first-base line for the go-ahead run. Grae Ormon of Clinton High then crushed a two-run homer over the left field fence to make ti 8-5 before Lewallen grounded to second to end the inning. ECCC went three up, three down in the top of the seventh to end the game. Curtis (1-1) got the win, giving up only one hit in his two-and-two-thirds innings on the mound. Marzoni went four-and-a-third, giving up four hits, striking out three, walking one, and hitting a batter; while Bond gave up a hit to the only batter he faced. Underwood gave up two hits and a walk to the three batters he faced in the fifth. Bacon (3-1) got the loss and gave up two hits in his two-thirds inning of relief on the mound, while Mann went three frames, gave up zero hits, struck out three, walked three, and hit a batter. Dalton gave up three hits in his one-third inning, while Cossich gave up two hits, struck out one, and walked two in his two innings on the mound. Kortbawi (two RBIs) and Long (one RBI) paced East Central nine-hit attack with both cracking doubles and singles, while Hill had two singles, Brant doubled (one RBI), and Martin and Noakley both had base hits. Pearl River finished with seven hits, led by Ormon two-run homer; while Smith tripled (one RBI) and Lee (one RBI), Lewallen, Sanders, Toussaint, and Williams (one RBI) all singled. ECCC committed three errors in the game to PRCC two. The Wildcats host division arch-rival Mississippi Gulf Coast Tuesday (moved back from the originally-scheduled Wednesday date) for a 4 p.m. doubleheader before traveling to division foe Hinds in Raymond Saturday for a 1 p.m. twin bill.

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