BATON ROUGE, La. — The No. 8 Pearl River baseball team flexed its muscles in a big way Sunday, picking up two impressive wins at Baton Rouge.
The Wildcats (3-1) picked up their first win of the day by defeating St. Louis Community College 11-4. PRCC followed the lopsided performance with an even more impressive 23-3 victory over Baton Rouge.
PEARL RIVER 11, ST. LOUIS 4
PRCC came out of the gate quickly against St. Louis.
The second inning saw Dexter Jordan (Hattiesburg) crush the ball for his first home run of the season giving the Wildcat's a 2-0 lead.
Barron scored Taylor yet again in the third inning on a fielder's choice and Reece Ewing (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy) hit a single to right field to score Barron.
The top of the fourth inning was where PRCC really broke things open.
Luke Harper (Meridian; Northeast Lauderdale) got things rolling with a sacrifice fly that scored Jordan.
Taylor followed that up with a sacrifice fly as well, scoring Kasey Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison).
St. Louis bounced back later in the bottom of the sixth with four runs of its own to close in on the lead.
Jordan batted in another RBI with a single to center field scoring Cleland.
Magruder O'Bannon (Gulfport; St. Stanislaus) hit a double to right field that scored both Jordan and Ewing, extending the Wildcat lead to 11-4.
While PRCC had hot bats for the entirety of the game, the Wildcats stood out on the mound just as much.
Shemar Page (Raleigh) did not give up a hit in his five innings on the mound. Page struck out 10 batters en route to his first win of the season. PRCC coach Michael Avalon felt Page owned the mound in his second start of the season.
"I thought the first thing that stood out was Shemar throwing well again, giving us another quality start," Avalon said.
Jordan and Barron led the team with two RBIs a piece.
"Dex hit a home run and he has that potential," Avalon said. "His first two games of the season didn't go as planned but he has been working and made some adjustments and it paid off today."
PEARL RIVER 23, BATON ROUGE 3
As impressive as the Wildcat's looked in their first win, they looked even more so in their second.
Barron got things started, scoring Taylor on a double in the first inning.
PRCC blew the game open in the top of the second inning.
Donaldson hit a double to score Jordan. Britt McKay (Wiggins; Ocean Springs) followed that up with a single that scored Page and Donaldson.
McKay later scored after a hit by pitch with the bases loaded.
Jordan hit a single that scored both Taylor and Barron that extended the Wildcats' lead to 7-0.
PRCC put up another crooked number in the fourth with an eight-run frame.
Ewing scored on a passed ball to get things started. McKay then hit a single that scored both Jordan and Page. A balk scored Donaldson. Barron and Cleland added two more runs on a single and double respectively.
Pearl River cashed in its last two runs of the inning on yet another passed ball that scored both Barron and Cleland, extending the lead to 15-0.
Cleland came up big yet again hitting a three-run homer in the fifth inning to increase the lead to 18-0.
The Wildcats did their last bit of damage in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs.
Harper and Trenton Lee (Picayune) both scored on passed balls to start the inning. After Page doubled in Cleland, Cameron Havard (Columbia; Columbia Academy) hit a double that scored both Reis Trager (Hurley; East Central) and Page.
Miles Smith (Laurel; Northeast Jones) got the start on the mound for the Wildcats, only giving up two hits and striking out six in four innings pitched.
"I thought Miles looked really good again," Avalon said. "He came out there and threw some quality stuff and when him and Shemar both pitch like that we have got a great shot at picking up two wins."
Cleland led the team with five RBIs.
"Wiley had a really good game. He was hitting the ball hard out there," Avalon said. "He did a good job of squaring the baseball up with the pitches they gave him."
Pearl River will be back on the road Tuesday when it takes on Coastal Alabama-East in an 11 a.m. doubleheader. The start time was moved up an hour due to weather concerns.