POPLARVILLE— Now that the new turf is down at Dub "Paw Paw" Herring Park, the Pearl River baseball team is anxious to put it to work during the fall season.
The Wildcats will have a busy couple of months as they host their third annual Home Run Derby on Sunday, travel to four different cities, play eight different teams and then wrap things up with the annual intrasquad series.
"We have had to have a little patience here with our projects, but we know the wait will definitely be worth it," said coach Michael Avalon ahead of Year 3 as the Wildcats' skipper. "We're excited to get started."
PRCC will travel to New Orleans Sept. 21 for a 5:30 p.m. game against Delgado C.C. at Kirsch Rooney Stadium and an 8 p.m. start against East Mississippi at the University of New Orleans.
The Wildcats head to East Central on Sept. 28 to play Jones College at 2:30 p.m. and the host at 6 p.m.
PRCC heads to Smith Wills Stadium in Jackson on Oct. 5. The Wildcats will play Mississippi Delta at 10 a.m. and Itawamba at 4 p.m.
PRCC's road schedule comes to an end Oct. 13 at Southern Miss. PRCC plays Copiah-Lincoln at 10 a.m. and Meridian at 4 p.m.
The Wildcats will round out the fall with the annual Maroon and Gold World Series, Oct. 16-21.
"We're going to play a lot of folks and get a lot of freshmen looks to see how they handle the pace of our game," Avalon said. "The biggest adjustment that I see from freshmen is just the speed and pace of our game. It's so much different, so we really use the fall to see how they adapt. It's just a different level of competition for them."
The Wildcats welcomed 19 freshmen at the start of school, but Avalon believes the squad has the right blend of newcomers and veterans to be dangerous yet again and defend the MACJC State Championship.
"We're very fortunate this year to have a good mix of freshmen and sophomores we can count on," he said. "We're excited about seeing everybody on the field together."
Sunday's derby will start at 3 p.m. and is open to the public.