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Pearl River clinches first baseball National Championship

The Pearl River Wildcats claimed their first baseball national championship title Saturday.
The Pearl River Wildcats claimed their first baseball national championship title Saturday.(PRCC Athletics)
Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 8:35 PM CDT
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ENID, Okla. (WLOX) - A season that will be remembered forever.

Dressed in the all gold uniforms, the No. 1 Pearl River baseball team turned in a come-from-behind 7-2 victory over No. 2 Madison to win the program’s first National Championship. With the victory, the Wildcats complete the ‘triple crown’, winning the MACCC Championship, Region 23 Championship and National Championship all in the same season.

Although Pearl River (45-11 overall) was the first team to come to the plate, it was Madison (49-11) who got into the run column first. The Wolfpack hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead.

The bats finally got going in the sixth inning as the offensive leader of the team Tate Parker (Gulfport; West Harrison) stepped to the plate and went down in the zone to crush a solo homer to cut the deficit to one run at 2-1. The homer was his 19th of the season. That’s when the rally really began. Alex Perry (McComb; North Pike) smacked the first pitch of his at-bat for a single and D.K. Donaldson (Gulfport; West Harrison) followed him with a single of his own. Matt Mercer (Richton; Petal) was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Ian Montz (Lafayette, La.; Acadiana). The freshman right fielder fought off 10 pitches before roping the 11th into right field for a two-run single, giving PRCC a 3-2 lead in the process.

Two crucial insurance runs came in for the Wildcats in the seventh frame to stretch the lead out to 5-2. Gabe Broadus (Wilmer, Ala.; Faith Academy) laced a single between the shortstop and third baseman to get things going. A Parker walk followed by Perry reaching on a Wolfpack error loaded up the bases for Donaldson. As if Donaldson hadn’t produced enough clutch hits in the World Series, the first baseman chopped a hard single just out of the reach of the Madison shortstop for two RBIs.

Montz opened the eighth inning with a single and advanced to second base on an error by the Wolfpack pitcher. He then moved around to third base after a wild pitch before a Madison balk brought him home to extend the lead 6-2.

Perry added on another big run in the ninth inning, blasting a 1-0 pitch over the wall to put Pearl River ahead 7-2.

Turner Swistak (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove) had the ball in the ninth inning and got the first two batters out quickly. Finally, the third batter of the inning popped the fourth pitch of his at-bat into left field where Broadus was standing. The left fielder drifted to his right, caught the ball and then pandemonium ensued as the Wildcat dugout stormed the field for a dogpile.

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