Pitching, power paves way for No. 8 Pearl River in sweep

Pitching, power paves way for No. 8 Pearl River in sweep

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 8 Pearl River Wildcats earned their second sweep of the young season Friday afternoon claiming 7-0 and 2-1 victories over Coastal Alabama-South at Dub Herring Park. 

"I thought that was a pretty good team that we played out there today," Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. "It was good to win a ball game 7-0 where we were in control pretty much the entire game and then also have to battle and win one 2-1 against a good team, so it was a good day." 

GAME 1: PRCC 7, CAS 0 

Pearl River wasted no time getting on the board in Game 1 as leadoff hitter Matt Taylor (Raleigh) scored on a passed ball to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. 

Taylor scored another run in the bottom of the third when Austen Izzio (Carriere; Pearl River Central) singled to give the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage. 

The next inning saw the Wildcats (7-1 overall) add to their lead starting with a sacrifice fly from Reece Ewing (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy) that scored Kasey Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) to put PRCC up 3-0. 

Britt McKay (Wiggins; Ocean Springs) followed that up by smashing a two-run home run into right field, giving Pearl River a 5-0 advantage. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Wiley Cleland (Columbia; Columbia Academy) hit a two-run home run to stretch the Wildcat lead to 7-0. 

Izzio and Taylor led PRCC with two hits each while McKay led the Wildcats with two RBIs. 

Shemar Page (Raleigh) picked up the win for the Wildcats pushing his record to 2-0 on the season. 

Page pitched the first six innings of the contest, allowing only three hits and a walk while striking out five. 

""I thought from a pitching side of it they threw a lot of strikes and I thought we barreled a lot of balls," Avalon said. "Shemar was great. He really sets the tone for what we want." 

GAME 2: PRCC 2, CAS 1 

The second game of the double header turned into a pitcher's duel. 

The Wildcats struck first when Dexter Jordan (Hattiesburg) blasted a two-run home run to left field. 

"Dexter has put a little more time and effort into his game and he is competing a little better," Avalon said. "I think you're going to continue too see him make pretty big strides moving forward." 

The Sun Chiefs struck back later in the top of the fifth inning, scoring a run to cut the PRCC lead to 2-1. 

A pivotal moment came in the top of the sixth inning when the Sun Chiefs had runners on first and second base. Avalon opted to bring in Reid Golemon (Moselle, South Jones) in relief of Miles Smith (Laurel; Northeast Jones). The move paid off big.

Golemon struck out the first batter he faced and then battled back and forth with the next batter, who ultimately popped up in foul territory to end the inning. 

"I have seen that guy grow up a lot in the past six months he has been here," Avalon said. "I saw him in high school come into those same situations and trust his stuff and he threw well today." 

Smith picked up the win, pushing his record to 2-0. 

He pitched the first 5 1/3 innings of the game, allowing just two hits, three walks and striking out seven batters. 

"We're just very fortunate that we have Miles out there following up Shemar for us", Avalon said. "They try to match each other." 


Up next for the Wildcats is a double header against Baton Rouge Community College next Tuesday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. 

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