SUMMIT, Miss.— The No. 6 Pearl River Wildcats had one more road test before heading back home for their last 10 games of the season.
The Wildcats passed it with flying colors Tuesday night, sweeping Southwest 11-2 and 5-1.
"I don't think you can make the game of baseball easy but I think our pitching staff made it a little easier for us tonight," head coach Michael Avalon said after his staff limited the Bears to three runs on 12 hits.
GAME 1: PRCC 11, SMCC 2
The Wildcats (27-8 overall, 12-6 MACJC) struck first in the top of the first inning when Noah Barron (Hoover, Ala.) hit an RBI single to score Austen Izzio (Carriere; Pearl River Central) to take a 1-0 lead.
Reece Ewing (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy) hit a fly that scored another run in the top of the second inning to extend the Wildcat lead to two.
Ewing batted in his second run of the game when he hit an RBI single to score Barron and give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
Southwest (12-21, 4-16) finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning with a fielders's choice.
PRCC swiftly answered back in the top of the sixth inning when Donaldson reached on an error that scored two runs.
Barron followed that up with an RBI single.
Dexter Jordan (Hattiesburg) added on to the Wildcat lead with an RBI single that gave PRCC an 8-1 lead.
The Wildcats tacked on their last runs of the game in the top of the ninth inning when Wiley Cleland (Columbia; Columbia Academy), Trenton Lee (Picayune), and Page all hit RBI doubles to push the Wildcat lead to 11-1.
Southwest scored the last run of the contest in the bottom of the ninth, scoring on an RBI single to make it 11-2.
Barron led the team in hits with four while also being tied for the team lead in RBIs at two with Ewing, Izzio and Donaldson.
"I knew I was going to get some fastballs today and I put a good swing on them," Barron said. "I honestly thought I was going to see a few breaking balls at some point but I never did so I just kept putting good swings on the fastballs and barreled them up."
Reid Reynolds (Heidelberg; Northeast Jones) picked up the win for the Wildcats, his third on the season.
"It felt great out there tonight," Reynolds said. "Coach Izzio has just been working with me and I've just stayed working on it to where I can help the team out."
Reynolds went six inning, allowing six hits and one run while striking a career high six batters.
"I'm really proud of Reid," Avalon said. "Him and Miles (Smith) went to the same high school so they've known each other their whole lives and I've told Reid I want you to follow what Miles does so it's nice to see us get that production from those Northeast Jones boys."
GAME 2: PRCC 5, SMCC 1
The Wildcats once again struck first in the top of the first inning, scoring four runs, all from three bases loaded walks and a hit by pitch.
Southwest plated their lone run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when they scored on an RBI single to make it 4-1.
The last run for the Wildcats came in the top of the seventh inning when Barron reached on an error that scored Matt Taylor (Raleigh) to increase the PRCC lead to four.
Cleland led the team in hits with two.
Miles Smith (Laurel; Northeast Jones) picked up the win for PRCC, his sixth of the season and his third straight complete game.
"I just try to put the team on my back and get us a win," Smith said. "We just need to keep pitching like this, I don't think we've been hot yet honestly, I think we're going to be really scary when that happens."
Smith went seven innings allowing five hits, one walk and one run while striking out six.
"I don't want these guys to take Miles for granted," Avalon said. "It's special when he goes out there and works. We just continue to tell him to stay humble and to bring his best and so far he's done that."
The Wildcats recently announced plans to host the inaugural Alumni Day on April 27 prior to the team's 2 p.m. doubleheader against Coahoma at Dub Herring Park. Any former Wildcats who are interested in participating in the festivities — which include a brunch, home run derby, tour of new facilities, crawfish lunch and tickets to the games — are asked to register at PRCCBaseballCamps.com.
The remainder of PRCC's regular season schedule features Holmes on Friday, Hinds (April 24), Coahoma (April 27), Jones College (April 30) and Northwest (May 3).
"We have 10 home games in a row and we are definitely looking forward to it," Avalon said. "There's no doubt about it The Dub is a special place and we're happy to be coming home."