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Wildcats keep rolling into Region 23 Tournament

Updated: May. 15, 2021 at 12:43 AM CDT
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POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - Michael Avalon has coached some very talented teams in five years at the helm of Pearl River Community College baseball – taking the 2019 Wildcats to the NJCAA Division II World Series.

This year’s group looks as if they can make a similar run – dominating MACCC play with a 23-5 conference record and the outright championship.

No. 3 PRCC (34-7) prepares to host the Region 23 Tournament at Dub Herring Park – a venue where they’ve lost just once this season.

Avalon admits he often struggles to fill out a lineup card, knowing how deep and talented the 2021 Wildcats are.

“Even guys that don’t get opportunities at bat, we have guys on the bench coming off that are ready to swing it,” said freshman catcher Graham Crawford, who owns 14 of Pearl River’s 87 home runs. “That’s something Coach [Slater] Lott always has told us is we gotta be a savage in the box.”

“One thing that you’re going to get here is something we call iron sharpens iron,” said freshman pitcher Turner Swistak, an Oak Grove grad. “Being around better players is just simply going to make you better.”

“Talent-wise it’s as good or better than any group I’ve ever coached,” Avalon said. “I’m not going to say it’s the best because we’ve had some really good teams. One of the things I’ve really been impressed with lately is just how close they are. They call themselves brothers. When you get to that point on a team, you have a chance to have a special team.”

Pearl River welcomes five teams to Poplarville on Monday for the first night of the Region 23 Tournament. The Wildcats battle Hinds Community College at 7 p.m.

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