River wraps year at Holmes with back-to-back losses

GOODMAN Pearl River Community College wrapped up its 2011 baseball season here Saturday with a pair of losses to the Holmes Bulldogs in one of four best-of-three MACJC playoff series. The Wildcats, the South Division No. 4 seed, opened the series with an impressive 5-3 victory on Friday; but the North No. 1 Bulldogs bounced back with 10-0 (five innings) and 7-5 wins on Saturday to capture the series and earn a berth in this week MACJC State Tournament at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville. Pearl River ended its season at 28-21 overall, while Holmes is 29-15 entering the state tournament. In Friday opening victory, Southeastern Louisiana signee Buck Bernard of Petal High shined for the Wildcats on the mound, hurling the first eight innings, giving up five hits, striking out 11, and walking two. The host Bulldogs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Reggie OBriant cracked a one-out single to right center field and scored off Zach Pickett double to center. Pickett got nailed in a rundown between second and third when Brandon Villarreal reached on a fielder choice. Tyji Hawkins, Villarreal courtesy runner, was thrown out at second on an attempted steal to end the inning. After the second and third innings went scoreless, the Wildcats rallied for three in the top of the fourth. Lead off Matthew Magee of Petal High walked and B.J. Smith of Sumrall High followed with a single. Magee scored off an up-the-middle base hit by James Abraham, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer who prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, before Grae Ormon of Clinton High singled an out later to load the bases. Chase Toussaint of Petal High followed with a two-run single to make it 3-1 before HCC starter Chris Hutchinson struck out Aaron Lee of Pearl River Central and Jordan Williams out of Christian County High in Hopkinsville, Ky., flew to left for the final out. Holmes answered with a solo run in the bottom of the frame when OBriant drew a lead off walk and Pickett outran a bunt for a base hit. After Villarreal popped out and Bernard struck out Rafiel Johnson, a throwing error on a pick off at third scored OBriant to make it 3-2 before Bernard struck out Jermaine Liggins to end the inning. The Bulldogs tied it up in the bottom of the sixth when Josh Crowder led off with an up-the-middle single, moved to second off OBriant sac bunt, and scored off Pickett ensuing single to right field. Pickett stole second and moved to third off Villarreal ground out before Johnson walked, but Bernard struck out Liggins to end the inning. In the top of the seventh, Lee led off with a walk, Williams reached on a fielder choice, and Chase Lewallen of Sumrall High and Magee cracked back-to-back singles to give PRCC a 4-3 lead. At that point, Hutchinson relinquished the mound to Jason Laxer who immediately struck out Smith before Abraham hit into a force out for the final out. After Holmes went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame; Pearl River scored its final run in the top of the eighth. Ormon drew a one-out walk before Toussaint reached on a fielder choice. Toussaint moved to second on a wild pick off throw, then to third on a passed ball before Lee walked. Toussaint scored off a wild pick off throw to second on a steal by Lee. Williams then reached after being belted by a pitch, which saw Laxer exit the mound for Patrick Stewart, who retired Lewallen with a fly out to left for the final out. HCC managed a base runner in the bottom of the eighth when OBriant reached on an error, while Liggins managed a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth off reliever Jared Bond of Denham Springs (La.) High. Bernard (7-3) got win in his eight innings on the mound, while starter Hutchinson (6-4) got the loss. He went six-and-one-thirds innings, giving up nine hits, striking out three, and walking two; while Laxer relieved in the seventh. He went one-and-a-third, striking out one and walking two; while Stewart hit one batter. Magee (one RBI) and Smith paced the Wildcats at the plate with two singles each, while Abraham (one RBI), Lee, Lewallen, Ormon, and Toussaint (two RBIs) all had base hits. Pickett double and two singles (two RBIs) led Holmes, while Crowder, Liggins, and OBriant all singled. PRCC committed two errors in the game to HCC none. In Saturday first game, Holmes went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Rafiel Johnson drew a two-out walk, stole second, and scored off Brandon Villarreal single to right. After a scoreless second, padded its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the third when lead off Trennis Grant wound up at second after reaching on an error and scored when Jocobby Robinson also reached on a Wildcat miscue. Jayson Keel then outran a bunt for a base hit before OBriant walked, setting the stage for Johnson two-run single to make it 4-0. Holmes added six in the bottom of the fourth when lead off Crowder tripled off an outfield error, Grant walked an out later, and Robinson followed with an RBI single. After Keel walked to load the bases, OBriant smashed a three-run triple to center field to make it 8-0. Another error put Johnson on and Liggins followed with a two-run double for the final runs. Starter Taylor Burrell (7-2) got the win in going the distance, giving up three hits and striking out three; while starter Taylor Byrd of Petal High (4-4) got the loss in his three-and-one-thirds innings on the mound. He gave up three hits, struck out three, and walked two before Josh Hubbell of Forrest County AHS relieved for one-third of an inning in the fourth. He faced five batters, giving up two hits, striking out one, and walking two before Jose Sola of Aguadilla, PR, relieved. Williams led the Wildcats at the plate with a pair of singles, while Derek Sanders of Simpson Academy also had a base hit. Holmes finished with six hits, led by OBriant triple (three RBIs). Liggins doubled (two RBIs) and Johnson (two RBIs), Grant, Robinson (one RBI), and Villarreal (one RBI) all had singles. PRCC committed four errors the game to HCC none. In the second game, the Wildcats went up 1-0 in the top of the first when Williams led off with a walk, Magee was belted by a pitch an out later, and Smith followed with an RBI single. The next two innings were scoreless, but the Bulldogs took the lead for good in the bottom of the third with a five-run barrage. Lead off Grant singled to right and moved to second off Robinson sac bunt before Keel reached on an error. That set the stage for OBriant three-run homer over the center field wall to make it 3-1. After Johnson walked, Villarreal flew out to center before Liggins crushed a two-run homer out of center to make it 5-1. Crowder struck out to end the inning. The fourth, fifth, and sixth innings were scoreless, but Pearl River added a solo run in the top of the seventh when Sanders belted a home run over the right field fence. Holmes answered with two more in the bottom of the frame when lead off Keel reached on an error and OBriant hit his second home run of the game to make it 7-2. The Wildcats scored three in the top of the ninth when Abraham led off with a double, Sanders and Ormon drew back-to-back walks to load the bases, and Toussaint followed with an RBI single. Lee then singled and Williams and Lewallen followed with an RBI singles to make it 7-5 before Magee flew out to center to end the game. Starter Johnson (8-2) got the win in his eight innings on the mound, giving up three hits, striking out four, walking four, and hitting two batters; while Caleb Kellum pitched the ninth, giving up three hits. Starter Robert Marzoni of Purvis High (6-4) got the loss in his four-and-one-thirds innings of action, giving up five hits, striking out six, and walking two; while Jared Bond of Denham Springs (La.) High relieved in the fifth. He gave up three hits and struck out six. Abraham led PRCC 10-hit effort with a double and a single, while Lewallen (one RBI) and Williams (one RBI) had two singles each. Sanders homered (one RBI), while Lee, Smith (one RBI), and Toussaint all had base hits. HCC finished with eight hits, led by OBriant two home runs (five RBIs); while Villarreal had two singles, Liggins homered (two RBIs), and Crowder, Keel, and Bo Farmer all had base hits. Pearl River committed two errors in the game to Holmes one.

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