POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - Pearl River Community College dusted off some old gold jerseys on Saturday as they prepared to battle No. 1 LSU-Eunice in the Region 23 Tournament title.
“Magic Mustards” or “Championship Golds” as they referred to, it’s the same jerseys that have been sitting in a box under coach Michael Avalon’s desk all season long. The same jerseys that the 2002 Wildcats wore during their JUCO World Series run.
After taking down LSU-Eunice and claiming the Region 23 crown, PRCC hopes to use those jerseys again as the school makes its first trip to the NJCAA D-II World Series since 2002.
"We talked about every day, especially this year in August, our ultimate goal was to go to Enid, Oklahoma and play in the World Series,” said Avalon, in his third season as head coach. “A lot of credit to the players because they’re the ones that have believed in it, bought into it, trusted it."
To reach this point, the Wildcats navigated a Region 23 which sported five of the top ten teams in the nation.
Earning a No. 1 seed for the trip to Enid, Oklahoma, PRCC (40-12) awaits the winner of Pasco-Hernando State College and Lackawanna on Sunday at 1 p.m.
"This is the SEC of junior college in my opinion,” said PRCC junior pitcher Miles Smith, a Northeast Jones grad. “Really good baseball here in Mississippi. There’s a lot of Division I players in this conference. It’s nothing we haven’t seen when we go up there, we just gotta be ready."
“Everybody on this team believes in each other, even the coaches,” said PRCC freshman infielder Dexter Jordan, a Hattiesburg High grad. “Everybody holds each other accountable and that’s a big thing on a team. From the sophomore group to the freshman group, everybody’s buying in and getting the job done.”