POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 2 Pearl River Wildcats picked up their ninth and 10th wins of the season Tuesday when they swept Coastal Alabama-East 12-4 and 11-2 at Dub Herring Park.
"I thought we played really well today," Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. "We set the tone early in the first game and that showed throughout the day."
GAME 1: Pearl River 12, Coastal Alabama-East 4 (7 inn.)
Dalton Cummins (Seminary) got the scoring started for the Wildcats (10-2) in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI-single to put the Wildcats up 1-0.
The Wildcats offense exploded in the bottom of the second when they put up a six-spot.
Nick Skaggs (Biloxi) drove in a run with an RBI-triple to get the scoring started.
Reece Ewing (Mobile, Ala.; Faith Academy) hit an RBI-single to drive in Skaggs.
Kasey Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) hit a line drive RBI-single to score Ewing.
Britt McKay (Wiggins; Ocean Springs) drove in a run with a single to left field.
Coastal Alabama-East (8-11-1) responded with a two-run homer in the top of the third.
Bryson Ware added to the Wildcat lead in the bottom of the third with a two-run homer to make it a 9-2 game.
Ware was not done there though, as he drove in another run with an RBI-single in the bottom of the fifth.
Coastal Alabama tacked on a run in the top of the sixth and the top of the seventh to make it a 10-4 game.
Ewing ended the game in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run homer to run-rule Coastal Alabama 12-4.
Ewing and Ware tied for the team lead in hits and RBIs with three apiece.
Skaggs also had two hits.
"Bryson had a good day at the plate the first game," Avalon said. "It's good to get him back going. I thought our offense one through nine did pretty well."
Cade Hodges (Brookhaven; Loyd Star) picked up the start and the win for the Wildcats to put his record at 3-0.
Hodges went 5 1/3 innings, allowing six hits, two earned runs and one walk while striking out nine.
"Cade had another quality start for us on the mound," Avalon said.
Dalton Baxley (Enterprise) entered the game in relief for Hodges to make his season debut. The right-hander threw one inning, allowing two hits and two earned runs while striking out two.
Evan Bynum (Soso; West Jones) also pitched for the Wildcats, allowing only one hit.
GAME 2: Pearl River 11, Coastal Alabama-East 2
Donaldson got the Wildcats on the board in the bottom of the first with a solo shot.
Coastal Alabama scored runs in the top of the second and third to take a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats exploded offensively in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Ewing hit his second home run of the day to plate three runs and retake the lead for PRCC.
Ware followed that up with a solo shot of his own.
Wein hit a two-run single to make it a 8-2 lead.
Taylor Woodcock (Pass Christian; West Harrison) followed that up with an RBI-single.
Ewing plated another run with a sacrifice-fly to score Woodcock and make it a 10-2 game.
Wein plated the last run of the game with another RBI-single to make it 11-2.
Ewing, McKay and Wein all tied for the team lead in hits with two apiece.
Ewing also led the team in RBIs with four while Wein had three.
"Reece had a big hit there to get us going," Avalon said. "One thing you notice about this team is once they start hitting it gets contagious."
Reid Reynolds (Heidelberg; Northeast Jones) got the start for the Wildcats, throwing two innings and allowing one hit and one run while striking out two.
Landon Harper (Lauderdale; Northeast Lauderdale) picked up the win for the Wildcats, throwing two innings allowing one hit and one walk while striking out one.
"It was good to see Reynolds out there on the mound today," Avalon said. "He has some things he needs to work on but the ball was coming out well. I thought Landon did a really good job out there today as well."
MOVIN' ON UP
The Wildcats saw a rise in the national rankings Monday night when they moved up two spots going from No. 4 to No. 2.
The ranking is their highest since 2003.
"I think it's a credit to our players and the amount of work they have put into this," Avalon said. "Our hope is that they see this and just keep buying in."
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Freshmen pitcher Leif Moore (Biloxi) earned MACJC Pitcher of the Week honors Tuesday after contributing to one of the Wildcats' no-hitters against Nunez last week.
Moore threw six innings and struck out 16 batters while allowing no hits and walks.
The Wildcats will set out on a three-series road trip, first visiting Northwest Florida State College on Saturday before playing at Spring Hill JV on March 11 and Northeast on March 14. Pearl River returns to The Dub to host Copiah-Lincoln on March 18.
HOW TO TUNE IN
All home events are broadcast on PRCCMedia.com. Anyone who has an Amazon Fire or Roku device can stream PRCC broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" Channel from the app store. Conference games can also be heard on WRJW 1320 AM, WRJWRadio.com or by downloading the WRJW app.