Wildcats remain in first place after split with Southwest

By STAN CALDWELL,

POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College got all it wanted from Southwest Mississippi Tuesday in an MACJC doubleheader at Dub Herring Park.

The Bears overcame a 4-0 deficit to win the first game 10-7, but the Wildcats came back to win the nightcap 9-6 and earn a split of the two games.

Sixth-ranked PRCC (26-6 overall) remained atop of the MACJC standings at 12-2 in conference games. Southwest finished the day 8-19 and 5-11.

Sophomore Derek Eberly (Blountstown, Fla.) drove in three runs for the Wildcats with a home run and a single in the opener. Sophomore Simon Landry (Ponchatoula, La.) had four RBIs with a homer and a single in Game 2.

The Wildcats started the day like they intended to continue the Bears’ eight-game losing streak, scoring four runs in the bottom of the second inning, helped by a pair of errors and two passed balls.

Freshman Shemar Page (Raleigh) led off with a single, took second on a passed ball, and scored on an infield single by freshman Luke Harper (Meridian) and a throwing error.

Sophomore Scooter Ginn singled and stole second, advancing to third when the throw from the catcher went into centerfield, allowing Harper to score from second. Eberly had an RBI single, stole second and scored on a passed ball to make it 4-0.

Southwest, however, started chipping away, scoring one run in the third, another in the fourth and the Bears tied it up with two runs in the fifth.

The Wildcats regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by freshman Noah Barron (Hoover, Ala.), but Southwest scored five runs in the sixth, then added another run in the seventh.

Eberly hits a two-run homer, his seventh of the season, in the eighth inning, but the Wildcats were unable to close the deficit further.

Freshman Colin Danley (Lucedale), the second of four pitchers for Pearl River, took the loss, evening his record at 1-1 for the season.

The second game followed a similar pattern as the Wildcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead, with two runs in the first and two in the third.

Eberly singled to lead off the first, then redshirt sophomore Bryson Medious (Columbia) hit into a fielder’s choice, and Landry followed with his 13th home run of the season, a rocket to straight-away centerfield.

Landry also delivered in the third with an opposite-field single to right, after Eberly tripled with one out and Medious was hit by a pitch.

Southwest refused to go away quietly, scoring four runs in the fourth off freshman starter Miles Smith (Laurel) on three hits and an error. The Wildcats got out of the inning, though, when Ginn threw out a runner at the plate trying to score from third on a double steal.

PRCC immediately regained the momentum in the bottom of the fourth, scoring twice. Barron got a bloop double to rightfield to lead off the inning, took third on a sacrifice and scored on a single by Harper. A passed ball and a wild pitch got Harper home to make it 6-4.

The Wildcats added another run in the fifth when Landry reached on an error leading off, went to second on a walk and scored on Barron’s single.

Freshman Trenton Lee (Picayune) capped the scoring for Pearl River in the sixth with a two-run homer, his first of the season.

Smith (6-1) pitched into the fifth to get the win. Southwest got two unearned runs off freshman Jerod Meggs (Kosciusko) in the seventh on two singles and two Wildcat errors, but sophomore Colby White (Foxworth) got the final two outs to earn his seventh save of the season.  

Pearl River is scheduled to host Mississippi Delta, beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, before the Wildcats hit the road next Wednesday for a key doubleheader at Hinds. The Mississippi Delta games will livestream on prccmedia.com.