CHALMETTE, La.— Magic struck twice for the No. 4 Pearl River Wildcats baseball team on Wednesday night when they swept Nunez Community College 12-0 and 6-0.
What made the wins so special for the Wildcats was that they threw a no-hitter, not once but twice.
"Our pitchers were dominant tonight," Pearl River coach Michael Avalon said. "It was two dominant wins because the kids executed, competed and bought in to what we're telling them. When we got ahead we just stayed at it."
Avalon was quick to praise his pitching staff for it's performances.
"I thought Cade (Hodges), Leif (Moore) and Reid (Golemon) came in, competed and had really good stuff. The thing that was most impressive for me was that they were able to throw their offspeed when they wanted to for strikes. With their stuff as good as it is if they can command two to three pitches each time out they're going to be tough to hit on any given night."
GAME 1: PRCC 12, Nunez 0 (5 inn.)
The Wildcats (6-2) exploded offensively early in the top of the second inning when they plated nine runs.
Michael Wein (Alpharetta, Ga.; King's Ridge Christian) hit a two-run double to start the scoring.
After Eric Newsom (Madison; Germantown) drew a walk, Wein scored on a Nunez (8-8) error.
Nick Skaggs (Biloxi) followed that up with a three-run bomb out to left field.
Not to be outdone, Bryson Ware (Gluckstadt; Germantown) hit a solo-shot to make it a 7-0 contest.
Britt McKay (Wiggins; Ocean Springs) hit an RBI-double to plate a run.
Newsom's second outing in the inning saw him hit a RBI-single to make it a 9-0 game.
The Wildcats tacked on to their lead in the top of the third when Ware hit an RBI-triple to plate Skaggs and make it 10-0.
The last two runs of the game came in the top of the fourth inning when Graham Crawford (Mobile, Ala.; Daphne) hit a two-run shot out of right field to make it 12-0.
The Wildcats ended the game in the fifth due to the run-rule.
McKay, Skaggs and Ware all tied for the team lead in hits with two apiece while Skaggs led the team in RBIs with three with Ware and McKay not far behind with two each.
While the Wildcats' hitting was phenomenal the story of the game was the performance of Pearl River's star right-hander Cade Hodges (Brookhaven; Loyd Star).
Hodges earned the start for the Wildcats and threw a no-hitter, allowing zero hits and zero walks, while striking out eight Nunez batters.
"I think the first thing Cade did was get ahead of the hitters," Avalon said. "When Cade gets ahead he's hard to hit and his stuff was electric tonight. He got ahead and stayed ahead."
Hodges picked up his second win of the early season.
"I was just trying to get through the first inning to help the team and then we scored nine runs in the second," Hodges said. "It's a lot more comfortable to pitch with a lead. I just went out there and tried to get three outs every inning. I wasn't trying to do anything special, I just told myself 'Get three outs' every inning and it worked. I honestly didn't think about it until like the fourth inning. I made an error and I threw it in the first base dugout and it kinda just hit me like, 'Man I had a perfect game going' but I told myself I'm gonna get this no-hitter and it worked out for me."
GAME 2: PRCC 6, Nunez 0 (7 inn.)
The Wildcats started the scoring early once again in the top of the first inning.
McKay got things rolling with an RBI-single to put the Wildcats up 1-0.
Wein followed that up with a two-run double, his second of the night, to put PRCC up 3-0.
Wein was not finished there though, in the top of the fourth inning he hit an RBI-single to give the the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
"Michael had a great approach tonight," Avalon said. "We've talked to him about not being too pull happy and he listened and made adjustments and was successful because of that."
Ware added to the PRCC lead in the top of the fifth inning when he stole home plate.
Newsom plated the last run of the night for the Wildcats in the top of the sixth with an RBI-single to give the Wildcats a 6-0 advantage.
The Wildcats finished the game with the 6-0 score.
Wein and Reece Ewing (Mobile; Faith Academy) tied for the team lead in hits with two apiece while Wein led the team in RBIs with three.
Yet again the offense of the Wildcats was not to be outdone by their pitching staff.
The Wildcats threw their second no-no of the night.
Leif Moore (Biloxi; St. Martin) picked up the start and earned his second win of the season for the Wildcats.
"Leif had a really good fastball tonight," Avalon said. "He had three pitches for strikes on both sides of the plate. When he does that he's going to be tough to hit no matter who you are."
Moore went six innings allowing no hits and no walks while striking out an astonishing 16 batters.
"I was just throwing the fast ball and getting ahead of the count and putting them away," Moore said. "I didn't realize I had a no-hitter until about the fifth inning. I started to get a little nervous."
Reid Golemon (Moselle; South Jones) entered the game in the bottom of the seventh in relief for Moore and did not allow a hit or walk while striking out two.
"I was a little nervous," Golemon said. "But this is what we work for all year. It's just part of it. I knew I had to finish."
The Wildcats return to action this Sunday at noon at Dub Herring Park when they take on Illinois Central College.
HOW TO TUNE IN
All home events are broadcast on PRCCMedia.com. Anyone who has an Amazon Fire or Roku device can stream PRCC broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" Channel from the app store. Conference games can also be heard on WRJW 1320 AM, WRJWRadio.com or by downloading the WRJW app.
Pearl River Community College
Assistant Director of Communications for Athletics