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No. 7 PRCC baseball rallies twice to sweep Gulf Coast

Updated: Mar. 11, 2021 at 3:27 PM CST
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From Pearl River Sports Communications Department

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — No. 7 Pearl River Community College found two different ways to sweep archrival Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Wednesday at Dub Herring Park.

After rallying late to claim a pitcher’s duel 2-1 in 10 innings in the opener. Pearl River (14-4, 4-2 Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference) then put together two huge innings in the nightcap to take a 10-6 victory and secure the second double-dip of MGCCC (8-8, 5-3) on the season.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. “This is a rivalry series for us. Those guys threw their best punch at us and I was proud that we handled it and found a way to win two games.”

Pearl River 2, Gulf Coast 1 (10)

PRCC pitchers Landon Gartman and Landon Hartman allowed just one run and combined for 17 strikeouts in 10 innings.

“They kept battling,” Avalon said. “It wasn’t pretty but I think we only had five strikeouts in 10 innings against a good arm. We squared some balls up and hit ‘em right at them and that’s baseball.

“I was really proud of the way we battled. That’s a big win for us to be down and win in extra innings.”

Von Seibert doubled twice, scoring the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning and then knocking in the walk-off run in the 10th.

Gartman allowed the lone MGCCC run in the third inning. A pair of singles and hit batsman loaded the bases before Petal’s Josh Cary scored on a balk. In seven innings, Gartman would allow just four hits and a walk while striking out a personal-best 11.

“What a special day he had — and in back-to-back starts,” Avalon said. “That was the challenge before the game. I told him to forget about the past when you’re struggling, but you also have to forget your success because that stuff doesn’t matter when you’re in it. He was big-time.”

Bulldogs’ starter Dawson Flowers, who had allowed only two singes through eight innings, gave up back-to-back doubles by Seibert and Kasye Donaldson.

Flowers allowed just one run on four hits through nine innings. He walked five, struck out five.

After a scoreless top of the 10th, the Wildcats went to work. Graham Crawford, a Sumrall High School product, walked with one out walk and then stole second base. Seibert then blasted a 2-2 pitch to the right-center field gap to end the game.

“Who doesn’t want to hit in that situation?” Seibert asked. “You come up to bat with a big play on the line and just have to do something with it.”

Harper earned the win in relief, tossing three scoreless innings with a career-best six strikeouts.

“I just go out there each time out and try to be very consistent, compete for my team and do my thing,” Harper said.

Pearl River 10, Gulf Coast 6

After seeing the Bulldogs rally from a four-run deficit to take a 5-4 lead, the Wildcats tied the game in the fifth inning, then added five runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

PRCC scored four times in the first inning a hit batsman, passed ball, sacrifice fly and RBI-single by Donladson.

PRCC starter Sam Hill, a West Jones High School product, allowed a run in the fourth inning, but MGCCC chased him in the fifth and ultimately scored four runs for a one-run lead.

Hill struck out seven in four innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) on five hits and one walk.

“Sam was solid,” Avalon said. “He can still get better and will.

“But the bottom line is every time that dude goes out there, he gives us a chance to win. That’s what you need.”

The Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the inning on an infield single by Donaldson and then came up with a five-run sixth inning.

A hit batsman and walk with the bases loaded scored the first two runs of the inning, with an error allowing the Wildcats to take an 8-5 lead.

Donaldson’s single made it 9-5 and the final run scored on another bases-loaded walk.

The Bulldogs got a run back in the seventh but it wasn’t enough.

Donaldson went 3-of-4 with three RBIs. Crawford went 2-of-3 and scored three runs.

Dakota Lee of Purvis finished the game, striking out five in two innings.

“Dakota was really special,” Avalon said.

PRCC will travel to Clarksdale Saturday to visit Coahoma Community College. The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader starting at noon.

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