The long awaited drought is over for Pearl River Central.
Behind a big fourth inning, the Blue Devils got past two-time defending champion Oxford 7-3 to claim the MHSAA Class 5A state championship on Saturday night at Trustmark Park.
It’s the Blue Devils first state title in school history.
“It has been our thing all season if we can hang around for a bit and then have one big inning we will be fine,” said Pearl River Central coach Neil Walther. “I felt like Cade was getting tired, but after the five runs in the fourth that gave him more energy and he did a great job. This one is for everyone that has been a part of the PRC program.”
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Down 2-1 heading to the top of the fourth, the Blue Devils scored five runs on four hits, highlighted by a two-run double by Zach Roussell. That gave Pearl River Central its first lead of the game at 4-2. Austen Izzio also had a run scoring single for the Blue Devils.
“We had to come through the big inning somehow no matter what game it is,” said PRC first basemen Eli Lee, who had two hits. “It feels awesome to win it for the first time in school history. We did multiple things for the first time this season and might as well add to it.”
Cade Lee (8-0) got the win on the mound for PRC. He went 6.2 innings, gave up seven hits, allowed three earned runs, walked one and struck out five.
“It was my last time out with this team and I wanted to give it all I had,” Lee said. “I had to rely on my curve ball a lot and it got the job done.”
Austen Izzio had three hits to lead PRC.
Reed Markel (5-1) took the loss on the mound for Oxford. Sam Bianco and LSU commit Drew Bianco had two hits each to lead the Chargers (32-7).
“I am so proud of the guys for fighting,” said Oxford coach Chris Baughman. “These guys came up short, but they overcame a lot. Someone told them they weren’t going to be very good and they made this far. We go up to 6A next year and we will see what happens.”