/Power-laden Pearl River CC gunning for first-ever national baseball championship

Power-laden Pearl River CC gunning for first-ever national baseball championship

Ole Miss made it to the last four of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Southern Miss remains one of the two unbeaten teams in Conference USA Tournament. Delta State is down 1-0 and plays Tampa today in an NCAA Division II Super Regional. Mississippi State will host an NCAA Regional next Wednesday. Although you may have heard all of this, did you know Pearl River Community College is the top-seed in the National Junior College World Series, which begins today in Enid (Oklahoma)? The Wildcats may be the most Mississippi-based team. 26 of the 29 Pearl River players are Mississippians. Three of the three other players are from Alabama. They are able to play basketball. Thirteen of the 29 have already signed or committed to signing scholarships at four-year colleges. They have a record of 40-12 and are coming off a sweep over four nationally ranked teams at the NJCAA Region 23 tournament. Oklahoma is No. 6 Pearl River defeated No. 4 Jones, No. 9 Northwest, No. 1 Itawamba, then No. 1 LSU-Eunice. Five of the six Region 23 teams were nationally ranked in the Top 10. Michael Avalon (Pearl River’s head coach) said, “I believe our league and our schedule prepared us for it.” “We play at the top region in the country. It’s sometimes called the SEC for junior college baseball. No team in the national tourney is ranked higher than the three highest-ranked teams Pearl River defeated last weekend. Avalon stated that these guys now have the chance to realize their dreams. “My challenge is to them, and that’s to focus on two things, and that’s your concentration and your effort.” Avalon is a Jackson native and is currently in his third season as Pearl River coach. His first Wildcats team won 29 matches. His second team won 38 games, and the state championship. His third team will be the first Pearl River to participate in the national series since 2002. The junior college World Series is a double elimination, 10-team event. The tournament will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. 8 Pasco-Hernando (Fla.) College playing No. 9 Lackawanna (Pa.) College The start of the game was delayed by heavy rains in Enid. At a time yet to be determined, Pearl River will play the winner Sunday afternoon. Five Wildcats players have slugged nine home runs or more. Dexter Jordan (Hattiesburg High) leads the pack with 18 homers. Kasey Donaldson, (Gulfport) and West Harrison (Columbia Academy), each have 13, while Reece Ewing and Faith Academy, Mobile (11 each) have 11. Austen Izzio (Pearl River Central), has nine. Pearl River boasts a strong two-punch in the starting pitchers department with Raleigh’s Shemarpage (7-1) and Northeast Jones’ Miles Smith (8-3), both of whom average more than one strikeout per innings. This will be Pearl River’s second trip to World Series. The Wildcats finished 1-2 in 2002 before being eliminated. Jones Junior College (2016) is Mississippi’s only team to win the national championship.