Wildcat baseball wraps season with Hinds, LSU-Eunice losses

JACKSON – Pearl River Community College”s 2010 baseball season of high hopes ended here Friday in Smith-Wills Stadium with back-to-back losses to Hinds and LSU-Eunice (La.) in Region 23 Tournament action.The fourth-seeded Wildcats wrapped their year at 26-29 overall after falling to MACJC state champ Hinds 7-3 to open their tournament play and plummet into the losers” bracket, before suffering a season-ending 9-3 setback to defending regional champ LSU-E.The PRCC-HCC game was originally scheduled for Thursday at top-seeded Hinds in Raymond, but was postponed due to severe weather that bombarded the area some 15 minutes before the opening pitch. Second-seeded East Central whopped LSU-E earlier in the afternoon 14-10 to push the third-seeded Bengals into the losers” bracket.Regional action moves back to Joe G. Moss Field Saturday in Raymond with an East Central-Hinds match up at 2 p.m. with the loser of that contest taking on LSU-Eunice immediately afterwards in an elimination game. The championship round is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. in Raymond.In the Wildcats” finale game, the Bengals went up 4-0 in the top of the second inning and never relinquished the lead.After PRCC starter Brett Blaise out of Heritage Academy in Columbus struck out lead off Jacob Fisher in the second, Brook Boudreaux lined a single to right field before Eldred Barnett drew a walk. After a double steal moved runners to second and third, Ryan Broussard crushed a three-run homer over the left field fence to make it 3-0. Blaise loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter, setting the stage for Raph Rhymes” RBI sacrifice to left for a fourth Bengal run before Gabriel Thibodeaux flew to center for the final out.While PRCC managed a base runner in the bottom of the second and LSU-E followed suit in the top of the third, the Wildcats loaded the corners in the bottom of the frame but couldn”t push a run home.Luke Rowan of Clinton High cracked a one-out single before William Carey signee Jake Hawkins of Sumrall High walked and Matthew Magee of Petal High also walked a strikeout later. Temple Harvey of Brandon High hit into a force out at second to thwart the threat and end the inning.In the top of the fourth, Matt Richard drew a one-out walk, then Blaise belted Les Aulds with a pitch and the duo moved to second and third via a wild pick off throw to second. Jordan Bourque then singled in Richard to make it 5-0.Blaise exited the mound for reliever Jared Bond of Denham Springs (La.) High, who immediately saw Rhymes hit into a double play.In the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcats managed a pair of runs. Southern Miss signee Ashley Graeter of Poplarville High led off with a line-drive single to left, moved to second off a ground out by Zach Farrar of Brandon High, and scored off an up-the-middle single by Bryn Whitehead of Sumrall High. Matt Linton of East Central High then doubled to the center field wall, scoring Whitehead to make it 5-2, before Bengal starter Tony Dischler retired two straight to end the inning.That score remained intact until the bottom of the eighth. After Graeter led off with a double to center, Dischler was relieved by Colby Broussard who immediately saw Graeter move to third off Farrar”s ground out before giving up an RBI single to Whitehead for The River”s third and final run of the afternoon. Whitehead moved to second on Linton”s ground out, then on to third on a passed ball, but was left stranded when Rowan grounded out to first.Bond retired two straight with ground outs to third in the top of the ninth, but walked Thibodeaux before Fisher singled to left. Brook Boudreaux”s base on balls loaded the bases, setting the stage for Truman Van Veckhoven”s towering grand slam homer of the right center field wall to make it 9-3. Ryan Broussard followed with a single to center, but was thrown out at second attempting to stretch his smack into a double.PRCC managed one base runner in the bottom of the ninth.Dischler (9-3) got the win in his seven innings on the mound, striking out four and walking three; while Broussard pitched the eighth and Dustin Fulks the ninth. Fulks walked a batter.Blaise (3-8) got the loss in his three-and-one-thirds innings of action, striking out three, walking five, and hitting a batter; while Bond relieved in the fourth to close it out. He struck out two and walked four.Ryan Broussard paced the Bengals” nine-hit effort with a homer and two singles (three RBIs), while Bourque had two base hits (one RBI), Van Veckhoven homered (four RBIs), and Barnett, Brook Boudreaux, and Fisher all had singles.The Wildcats finished with 10 hits, led by Whitehead with a double and two singles (two RBIs), while Graeter doubled and singled, Farrar had two singles, Linton doubled (one RBI), and Harvey and Rowan both had base hits.LSU-E played error free, while PRCC had one defensive miscue.Hinds 7, Pearl River 3Pearl River gave up four runs to Hinds in the bottom of the seventh inning in Friday”s first game, which proved lethal.The Wildcats went up 2-0 in the top of the opening frame when lead off Hawkins drew a base on balls and Magee smashed a two-run homer over the right center field fence a strikeout later. After Harvey grounded out to third, Graeter singled before Farrar”s grounded to second for the final out.Hinds managed a base runner via a walk in the bottom of the first, while Pearl River left a runner stranded at third in the top of the second.Whitehead led off the inning with a single to right, stole second, then moved to third off an sacrifice bunt by Grae Orman of Clinton High before Linton popped out to second and Eagle starter Ryan Nance K”ed Hawkins for the final out.Hinds cut into PRCC”s lead in the bottom of the frame when Justin Brodnax cracked a one-out single to left center and Morris Grant reached on a fielder”s choice. Speedster Grant raced all the way to third on Taylor Bates” ensuing base hit to right, setting the stage for Tyler Wells” RBI single to make it 2-1. Wildcat starter Buck Bernard of Petal High walked Nance to load the bases before Manny Estrada hit into a force out at third to end the inning.B.J. Smith of Sumrall High led off the top of the third with a single to left field before Magee struck out and Harvey hit into a double play. In the bottom of the inning, lead off Nick Schneeberger crushed a double to the left field wall, stole third an out later, but was left stranded when Bernard retired Zach Polzin and Brodnax.After Pearl River left Whitehead stranded in the top of the fourth, the Eagles tied it up in the bottom of the frame when Wells smashed a two-out double to the left field wall before scoring off Nance”s bloop single to left. Nance was nailed at second on an attempted steal for the third out.After a scoreless fifth inning, PRCC regained the lead at 3-2 in the top of the sixth when Graeter smashed a monster one-out homer over the center field wall before Farrar grounded out and Whitehead flew out to center.In the bottom of the seventh, Bernard walked lead off Wells, then retired Nance before exiting the mound for submariner Sean Kelly of Pearl River Central. Kelly immediately walked Estrada before giving up an RBI single to Schneeberger to tie it up at 3-3. After Michael Busby reached on a fielder”s choice, Polzin cracked an RBI single to right and the Eagles managed a second run on the play via an error. Brodnax”s ensuing double to center scored Polzin to make it 6-3 before Grant flew out to left to end the inning.After the Wildcats went three up, three down in the top of the eighth, Taylor Bates led off the bottom of the frame with a single to right and moved to second off Wells ground out to Kelly, who left the mound at that point for reliever Beau Underwood out of St. Patrick High in Biloxi. Bates moved to third off Nance”s ground out to second and scored off Estrada”s ensuing single for the game”s final run.Estrada stole second, then third before Schneeberger walked. Josh Hubble of Forrest County AHS relieved Underwood at that point and Busby hit into a force out to end the inning.PRCC went three up, three down in the top of the ninth to end the game.Nance (6-3) got the win in going the distance, striking out five and walking one; while Kelly (4-2) got the loss in his one inning on the mound. Kelly walked one. Starter Bernard went six-and-one-thirds innings, striking out one and walking three, while Underwood and Hubble saw relief duty in the eighth.The Wildcats finished with seven hits, led by Graeter who homered and singled (one RBI), while Smith and Whitehead had two singles each and Magee homered (two RBIs).Brodnax (one RBI), Schneeberger (one RBI), and Wells (one RBI) paced the Eagles” 12-hit attack with each hitting doubles and singles, while Bates and Estrada (one RBI) had two base hits each. Nance (one RBI) and Polzin (one RBI) both had singles.Pearl River committed three errors in the game to Hinds” one.

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