PCA splits doubleheader, takes series with Franklin Academy

Published 10:47 pm Friday, April 5, 2024

On Friday morning, John Wyatt Massey signed with Coahoma Community College’s baseball program and said an effort to get physically stronger was an important factor.

“I got a lot stronger and just improved my game little by little every day,” he said after a signing ceremony early in the day. “During my career I only hit four home runs and I’ve got four this year.”

Make it five for PCA’s resident muscleman.

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Massey belted a three-run home run — his fourth in the last seven games and fifth of the season — and Thomas Azlin added another three-run shot as the Eagles outslugged Franklin Academy 11-9 in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday evening.

Franklin beat PCA 9-7 in game one. The Cougars scored three runs in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to had PCA (16-7, 5-1 MAIS District 4-3A) its first district loss of the season.

The high-scoring trend continued for both teams in game two.

PCA scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning, and Azlin’s three-run home run in the fourth gave it a 7-2 lead.

Franklin answered with some power of its own, as Nate Gray hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to help the Cougars trim the deficit to 7-6.

In the bottom of the sixth, PCA regained some separation. Taylor Labarre led off with a single, Chase Hearn walked, and then Massey went deep over the right field wall to make it 10-6.

Azlin followed with a double and stole home for the Eagles’ final run.

Franklin wasn’t finished, though. It got two runs back on a double by Gavin Griffing, who later scored on an error to cut it to 11-9.

Gray came to the plate with two outs as the tying run and battled Hearn through a nine-pitch at-bat that included three foul balls. Hearn finally got him to look at strike three to end the game.

Massey’s home run was his only hit of the game, but he finished with four RBIs and scored twice.

Azlin was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Labarre and Hearn scored three times each. Gavin Pugh had two RBIs.

Griffing was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored for Franklin (7-8, 2-5), and Gray was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

Next week, PCA will play a three-game series against Prairie View Academy (18-4, 9-0) that will decide the District 4-3A championship.

The teams are scheduled to play in Bastrop, La., on Tuesday at 6 p.m., and then in a doubleheader in Vicksburg next Friday, April 12, beginning at 3 p.m.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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