Pearl River clinches playoff berth, eliminates MGCCC from playoff contention

PERKINSTON, MS (PRCC) - The Pearl River Wildcats are heading to the playoffs as the MACJC South Division's No. 3 seed after a doubleheader split with archrival Mississippi Gulf Coast Sat., April 26.

Pearl River (26-20, 12-12) suffered a 12-0 loss in seven innings of its nine-inning game with MGCCC, but bounced back with a 10-9 victory in the seven-inning nightcap that took 10 innings to complete.

Gulf Coast needed to win both games of the doubleheader to keep its season alive. The Bulldogs finish the 2014 campaign with an overall record of 20-21 and 10-14 within MACJC play.

With the nightcap win, the Wildcats clinched a berth in one of four MACJC best-of-three playoff series and will travel to North No. 2 Northeast Mississippi next Friday and Saturday to shoot for a berth in May 8-10's MACJC State Tournament.

In Saturday's first game, the host Bulldogs devoured the Wildcats with a nine-run barrage in the fifth inning and never looked back. Gulf Coast went up 2-0 in the second and added a solo run in the sixth to take the seven-inning shutout via the 10-run rule.

Cam Cochran hurled a two-hitter in Gulf Coast's game-one win, striking out eight Wildcat batters, while PRCC starter Brandon Pennington (4-4) got the loss in his 4 1/3 innings of work.

In the second game, the Wildcats led 9-8 heading into the seventh, but Gulf Coast's James Land bashed a solo homer to tie it up and send things into extra innings.

With runners at second and third in the top of the 10th, Adam Smith hit sacrifice fly to right field for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run.

Jacob Taylor (3-0) got the win after entering as a relief pitcher in the eighth inning.

Kreg Garner paced PRCC's 12-hit attack with two home runs, a single and four RBIs, while Kyle Dolan had a double and two singles.

The two teams split in a previous doubleheader played April 1 in Poplarville with the Wildcats taking a 3-2 win in the first game before falling 16-3 (six innings) in the nightcap.

Other best-of-three series set for next weekend include South No. 1 Jones County hosting North No. 4 Holmes in Ellisville, North No. 1 East Mississippi hosting South No. 4 East Central in Scooba, and South No. 2 Hinds hosting North No. 3 Northwest Mississippi in Raymond.