River sweeps Illinois Central

POPLARVILLE Pearl River Community College swept Illinois Central College (Ill.) in NJCAA baseball doubleheader action here Saturday with 10-0 (six innings) and 8-4 victories to improve to 11-3 overall. The visiting Cougars who hail from East Peoria, Ill., dropped to 3-12 with the losses. In the first game, Wildcat starter Taylor Byrd of Petal High gave up a lead off single to Zach Jacobs in the top of the opening frame before recording three of his seven strikeouts to retire the side. In the bottom of the inning, Aaron Lee of Pearl River Central High outran a one-out bunt for a base hit before Braxton Lee of Picayune High reached on an error. A fly-out later, Marcus Lawton Jr. of Biloxi High singled in Lee for a 1-0 lead before Chase Toussaint of Petal High hit into a force out to end the inning. In the second, Byrd carbon-copied his first-inning mound performance rendering a lead off single this time to Marshall Escue then fanning out three straight. Pearl River padded its lead in the bottom of the frame. After Cougar starter Brock Adcock retired two straight, he belted Krisjon Wilkerson out of St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis with a pitch then Toussaint reached on an error. The base runners moved to second and third on steals, setting the stage for Aaron Lee RBI single before Toussaint scored on a throwing error to make it 3-0. Braxton Lee grounded to second to end the inning. Byrd struck out lead off Luke Lucchetti in the third, then gave up a single to Jacobs, who was thrown out at second on an attempted steal. Andrew Hagle grounded to first for the final out. Chad Livingston, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer who prepped at Slidell (La.) High, led off the bottom of the inning with a single, stole second, and scored off a sacrifice to left by Chase Lewallen of Sumrall High to make it 4-0. Austin Carter of Sumrall High struck out to end the inning. Cody Conkle of Petal High relieved Byrd in the fourth and gave up a lead off single to Alex Gutierrez before second baseman Lewallen spearheaded a dazzling double play. Conkle Kd Escue for the final out. In the bottom of the inning, lead off Matt Linton of East Central High was hit by a pitch and Toussaint reached on an error an out later. Aaron Lee scored Linton via a ground out to short to make it 5-0 before Braxton Lee struck out to end the inning. Dylan VanFleet and Jared Pyatt led off the fifth with singles before Conkle struck out Colby Vos. After Lucchetti singled to center field, Jacobs hit into a double play. PRCC went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning. Tyler Jordan of Bay High relieved Conkle in the sixth and retired the ICC side, while The River ended the game via the 10-run rule in the bottom of the inning. Carter led off with a single to left, then Linton reached on a fielder choice. Wilkerson then singled and Linton scored the Wildcats sixth run from second off a throwing error. After courtesy runner DeVonte Linear of Wayne County High stole second, Toussaint singled Linear home and wound up at second base. That prompted the mound exit for Cougar starter Jason Condit for Nathan Stahl, who immediately gave up and RBI single to Aaron Lee to make it 8-0. Braxton Lee followed with an RBI single and Livingston popped out to second before Lawton singled to right. Lewallen singled in Lee for the game-ending run. Byrd (3-0) picked up the win in his three innings on the mound, giving up three hits; while Conkle relieved in the fourth and went two frames, giving up four hits and striking out two. Jordan pitched the sixth. Condit got the loss in his five-and-one-thirds innings of action, giving up six hits, striking out two and hitting a batter; while Stahl pitched the sixth. Jacobs led the Cougars seven-hit effort with a pair of singles, while Escue, Gutierrez, Lucchetti, Pyatt, and VanFleet all had base hits. The Wildcats finished with nine hits, led by Aaron Lee three singles (three RBIs); while Carter, Livingston, Lawton (one RBI), Braxton Lee (one RBI), Lewallen (two RBIs), and Toussaint (one RBI) all had base hits. Wilkerson had one RBI for PRCC. Pearl River played an error-free game, while Illinois Central had a whopping six defensive miscues. In the nightcap, Wildcat starter Brandon Pennington of Sumrall High retired the side to open the first, then Pearl River put up three in the bottom of the inning. Lead off Toussaint walked and stole second and third before Aaron lee flew out to left, but scored off Braxton Lee double to left. Livingston followed with a towering two-run homer out of left field to make it 3-0. After Lawton struck out, Lewallen and Carter cracked singles before Linton grounded to short to end the inning. The Cougars tied it up in the top of the second when VanFleet hit a one-out, up-the-middle single and Cale George followed with a double to right center. After Pennington struck out Kody Mirabal, Luke Etnier singled in VanFleet before Lucchetti singled in George. Jacobs ensuing RBI double knotted things at 3-3 before Drew Compton flew to center for the final out. ICC starter Brock Adcock retired the side in the bottom of the frame, while Pennington recorded a one-out walk and a strike out in the top of the scoreless third. The Wildcats added two in the bottom of the inning when Livingston cracked a one-out single to right and Lawton followed with a two-run homer over the towering left field wall before Adcock retired Lewallen and Carter for the final outs. After a scoreless fourth, Chase Chancellor out of Presbyterian Christian High in Hattiesburg relieved Pennington to start the fifth and he immediately walked Jacobs before Compton reached on an error. After Gutierrez hit into a double play, Pyatt grounded to third for the final out. In the bottom of the fifth, Braxton Lee led off with a walk and stole second before moving to third off Livingston ground out to first. He scored on a strike out-passed ball to Lawton, who reached safely at first. Lawton stole second and third before scoring off Lewallen up-the-middle single to make it 7-3. Adcock was relieved by T.R. Dunne at that point who immediately struck out Carter. Meanwhile, Lewallen stole second and scored off an errant pick off throw to make it 8-3 before Ryan Best of Oak Grove High popped to short for the final out. After a scoreless sixth, Illinois Central scored a final run in the seventh when Lucchetti drew a one-pout walk, moved to second off Jacobs fly out to center, and scored off Compton single before Gutierrez grounded out to short to end the game. Pennington (3-0) got the win in his four innings on the mound, giving up six hits, striking out five, and walking one; while Chancellor gave up a hit, struck out one, and walked one. Adcock got the loss in going the distance, giving up eight hits, striking out three, and walking two. George and Jacobs (one RBI) led the Cougars six-hit attack with one double each, while Compton (one RBI), Etnier (one RBI), Lucchetti (one RBI), and VanFleet all had singles. PRCC finished with eight hits, led by Livingston home run and single (two RBIs), while Lewallen had two base hits (one RBI), Lawton homered (one RBI), Braxton Lee doubled (one RBI), and Forrest Dungan of Columbia High and Carter both singled. ICC committed two errors in the game to Pearl River one. Pearl River returns to action when it hosts St. Louis-Meramec (Mo.) at 1 p.m. and Garden City at 6 p.m. Sunday. The two foes will also face off at 3 p.m.

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