PRCC baseball upsets JCJC

ELLISVILLE – Pearl River Community College baseball pulled off some postseason magic Wednesday night in the opening round of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament.

The Wildcats overcame a 4-0 deficit against No. 1-ranked Jones County, battling back to tie the game on a dramatic home run by pinch hitter John Moore, then won it in the 10th inning 5-4 on Lucas Scott’s RBI single.

With the win, PRCC (28-18) will battle fifth-seeded Hinds in the winners’ bracket at 6 p.m. Thursday. JCJC (44-3) faces East Central atnoon in an elimination game.

 “We knew if we could get past the first two or three innings without them knocking us out, that we had a chance,” said PRCC coach Michael Avalon.

 “When we came in here, there were three things we asked them to do. We asked them to play hard, play tough and believe. That’s it.”

For the first two innings, it was business as usual for Jones. The Bobcats got a solo home run in the bottom of the first, then scored three runs in the second off Wildcat starter Peyton Lee.

But Lee got out of a bases-loaded jam to end the second, and in the top of the third, fortunes turned around for the Wildcats.

With one out, Bryson Medious popped up a ball behind home plate that Bobcat pitcher Ben Stiglets failed to catch. Given a reprieve, Medious smacked a 3-2 pitch over the leftfield fence for a two-run home run.

 “I was seeing his pitches pretty good, but I was just off,” said Medious. “When he dropped the foul, I knew I had a good chance; I knew he had to come in to me. I just squared up and hit it out.”

Lee settled down and gave the Wildcats six innings, allowing just three hits and no runs in his last four innings of work. Parker Dungan pitched two innings of scoreless, hitless relief, striking out two.

PRCC closed the margin to 4-3 in the sixth on three singles, the last one by Donte Peters to drive in the run.

That set the stage for the late-inning dramatics. With two outs in the top of the ninth and a 1-2 count, Moore pounded a fastball over the rightfield fence off JCJC reliever Will Freeman (3-1) for a stunning, game-tying home run.

The Wildcats scored the winning run in the 10th when Simon Landry doubled with one out and Lucas Scott delivered a two-out RBI single.

 “We all had heart, we all knew we could win this game,” said Scott. “We got up there and got the job done.”

Freshman Colby White (6-2) came on in the ninth with all the momentum, and struck out five of the six batters he faced, including striking out the heart of the Bobcats’ order in the 10th to nail down the victory.

 “Peyton throws really hard, then Parker is more of a spot-up , off-balance guy,” said White. “So that set up well for me going from Parker back to me. They were stuck on a lefty with movement and they weren’t ready for the heat.”

In the earlier meeting this season, Hinds swept the Wildcats at Poplarville 13-1 and 3-1. In other tournament action, Hinds defeated LSU-Eunice 6-2 and Northwest downed East Central 8-1.

From JCJC

ELLISVILLE – Pearl River Community College overcame a 4-0 deficit and rallied to stun top-ranked Jones County Junior College 5-4 in 10 innings here Wednesday night in the Region 23 Tournament before a large crowd at Community Bank Park.

The Bobcats led 4-3 in the top of the ninth inning Pearl River was down to its last strike. But pinch-hitter John Moore drilled a solo home run over the right-center field wall to tie the score at 4-4.

In the top of the 10th inning, Lucas Scott delivered a two-out single into shallow right-center to drive in what would prove to be the winning run.

Wildcat reliever Colby White then struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th to secure the upset.

The Bobcats, 44-3, now face a ‘must win’ situation in a noon matchup on Thursday vs. East Central in the loser’s bracket. The Warriors dropped an 8-1 decision to Northwest in a first-round game. In Wednesday’s other first round game, Hinds beat LSU-Eunice, 6-2.

Thursday’s other matchups will find Northwest vs. LSU-Eunice at 3 p.m. and Pearl River vs. Hinds at 6 p.m.

The JCJC vs. ECCC game will air on www.jcjc.tv and the Northwest vs. LSU-Eunice game will air on www.nwccrangers.com/watch.

The Bobcats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Erick Hoard (Brandon) hit an opposite field, solo home run.

JCJC made it 4-0 in the second.

Jonathan Parker (New Orleans, Louisiana) singled and Jacob Hiatt (Petal) followed with a double. A throwing error allowed Parker to score and Hiatt to advance to third base. But Hiatt would be picked off the bag for the first out of the inning. That would be one of four baserunners the Bobcats would have thrown on the evening.

Luther Woullard (D’Iberville) would follow with a single to right and Hudson Harris (West Jones) would single to right. Caleb Ledet’s (Houma, Louisiana) groundout advanced the runners and Woullard would score on a wild pitch.

Fred Franklin (West Lauderdale) walked and Shelton Wallace (Northwest Rankin) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Hoard walked to force Harris home, but PRCC got a groundout to end the inning.

The Wildcats would grab the momentum in the third.

Noah Nicaud was hit by a pitch and was forced at second on a fielder’s choice grounder by Logan Walters. Bryson Medious came to the plate and popped up a pitch in foul territory. Pitcher Ben Stiglets did not make the play and Medious was given another chance.

He would then hit a 3-2 pitch over the leftfield wall to cut the lead to 4-2.

Pearl River made it 4-3 in the sixth when Simon Landry and Scott singled. Donte Peters followed with a two-out single to right to score Landry.

Bobcat reliever Will Freeman (Semmes, Alabama) notched a pair of strikeouts to start the top of the ninth.

But Moore would hit a 1-2 pitch over the wall to the game at 4-4.

In the 10th, Landry doubled to the gap in left-center and Scott then looped a ball just over infield into right-center for an RBI single.

Freeman, 3-1, took the loss in his 4 1/3 innings of work.  He allowed two runs, four hits, struck out four and walked none. Stiglets went 5 2/3 innings, allowed three runs, six hits, walked one and struck out five.

Parker and Harris each singled twice, while Hoard homered and had two RBIs. Wallace and Hiatt doubled with Franklin and Woullard adding singles.

The Bobcats did not score a run after the second inning and did not get a hit after the sixth.

White went the final two innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced to get the win. He is 6-2 on the year. Parker Dungan pitched two innings of relief, allowed no hits, walked none and struck out two.

Starter Peyton Lee went six innings, allowed four runs, nine hits, walked three and struck out four.

Scott doubled and singled twice, while Landry doubled and singled. Medious and Moore homered with Graham Hackbarth, Peters and Walters adding singles.