POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College had its eight-game winning streak snapped in the opening game of an MACJC baseball doubleheader Sunday against Meridian, but the Wildcats rebounded for a dramatic win in the nightcap.
The Eagles roughed up six Pearl River pitchers in Game 1, outslugging the Wildcats 16-9, but PRCC scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 2 to take a 4-3 triumph and earn the split at Dub Herring Park.
Seventh-ranked Pearl River (25-5 overall) remained atop the MACJC standings at 11-1 in conference play. Meridian (22-8, 9-5) finished the day in a four-way tie for third place.
Sophomore Simon Landry (Ponchatoula, La.) and redshirt freshman Matt Taylor (Raleigh) each had three hits to pace the Wildcats in the opener. Freshman Noah Barron (Hoover, Ala.) drove in the game-winning run in the nightcap on a sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats scored first in Game 1, getting run on a leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning by sophomore Derek Eberly (Blountstown, Fla.). He took third on a single by Landry and scored on a single by Taylor.
However, Meridian scored six runs in the second off freshman Shemar Page (Raleigh), who was tagged for his first loss of the season after six wins.
The Wildcats narrowed the margin to 6-5 with three runs in the third and one in the fourth.
Redshirt sophomore Bryson Medious (Columbia) led off the third with a home run, his sixth of the season. Barron doubled and scored on a single by Taylor, and two errors got Taylor home.
In the fourth, freshman Luke Harper (Meridian) led off with a single, stole second, took third on an error and scored on a single by Eberly.
Meridian pulled away with two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and four in the seventh, then added three runs in the ninth after PRCC had narrowed the margin to 13-9 with two runs in the seventh and two in the eighth.
Freshman Wiley Cleland (Columbia) singled to lead off the seventh, and he took third when sophomore Logan Walters (Moss Point) reached on a two-base error. Harper drove in a run on a bunt single and another run came home on a passed ball.
Landry opened the eighth with a single, went to second on a single by Barron and scored on a single by Cleland. Walters drove in another run with a single, but the Wildcats left the bases loaded and were unable to score in the ninth.
The Wildcats struck quickly in the second game, scoring twice in the first inning.
Eberly and Medious each walked to open the inning, two passed balls got Eberly to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Landry. An errant pickoff play sent Medious to second, a wild pitch put him on third and he scored on a single by Barron.
PRCC made it 3-0 with one out in the third when Landry hit a towering shot to centerfield for his 12th home run of the season.
Redshirt sophomore Drake Nightengale (Sumrall) was masterful, striking out 12 in five innings, but he was touched for three unearned runs in the fifth as the Eagles tied it up.
Sophomore Colby White (Foxworth) came on to pitch in the sixth and seventh, earning his third win against one loss. He gave up a two-out double in the sixth and a leadoff single in the seventh, but struck out the other six batters he faced.
The Wildcats opened the bottom of the seventh with walks by sophomore Scooter Ginn (Columbia) and Eberly. Medious moved the runners to second and third with a groundout to first, then Landry was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Barron sent a 1-2 pitch to rightfield, and Ginn just did beat the throw to the plate for the game-winning run.
Pearl River will be right back in action at 3 p.m. Tuesday, hosting Southwest Mississippi in a doubleheader. Both games will be livestreamed on prccmedia.com. The Wildcats will also be home on Saturday to face Mississippi Delta.
PRCC BASEBALL LINESCORES
Sunday at Poplarville
Meridian 16, Pearl River 9
Meridian 060 021 403 – 16 14 5
Pearl River 103 100 220 – 9 17 2
MERIDIAN (22-7, 9-4 in MACJC): Milton Smith 1B; Trace Jordan 1B (3 RBIs); Davis Bradshaw 2 1B; Sam McWilliams 3B (3 RBIs); Blake Morris 2B, 3B; Zack Carter 2B, 1B; Houston Parker 3 1B; Mack Pickering 2 1B (3 RBIs). WP – Logan McDowell (3-1). Also pitching – Hunter Stanley (starter); Keegan Westbrook.
PEARL RIVER (24-5, 10-1 in MACJC): Derek Eberly 2B, 1B; Bryson Medious HR (solo), 1B; Simon Landry 3 1B; Noah Barron 2B, 1B; Matt Taylor 3 1B; Wiley Cleland 2 1B; Logan Walters 1B; Luke Harper 2 1B. LP – Shemar Page (6-1). Also pitching – Luke Bradley; Jerod Meggs; Austin Elliott; Deyton Lingle; Dylan Usry.
Pearl River 4, Meridian 3
Meridian 000 030 0 – 3 7 3
Pearl River 201 000 1 – 4 4 1
MERIDIAN (22-8, 9-5 in MACJC): Milton Smith 2 1B; Trace Jordan 2 1B; Davis Bradshaw 1B; Sam McWilliams 1B; Houston Parker 2B. LP – Peter Holland (2-2). Also pitching – Luke Wallner (starter); Matthew Harrison.