Defending Class 5A state champion East Central is off to is off to quick start in the new prep baseball campaign.
The Hornets of veteran head coach Bo Long have swept four games in the first week of play, including a trio of contests games against other Jackson Couty foes on all the road.
East Central knocked off Ocean Springs twice on consecutive nights last week (7-3 on Tuesday and 3-0 on Wednesday) and then headed to Perkinston on Friday after a day off and popped Pascagoula 15-2 in five innings at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Then, on Monday, the Hornets celebrated Lundi Gras with a 6-1 win over West Harrison to move to 4-0 with the win.Against Pascagoula, the Hornets slipped in front slightly in the top of the second on an RBI-bunt single by Payton Youngblood which plated Nathan Trochessett who led off the inning with a line drive double to left,
That would be a harbinger of more offensive to come for East Central, as the Hornets came back in the next frame and exploded for nine more runs in the third to blow the game open at 10-0.
The Hornets sent 14 batters to the plate in the stanza, and the Panthers did nothing to help themselves by committing three errors in the inning.
Trochessett led the ECHS 10-hit attack with three hits, two doubles and a single, and three runs batted in. Youngblood added two singles and the aforementioned RBI, while Carson Ryder and Tyler Tanner both drove in a pair of runs each, Tanner’s on a two-run triple.
Brayson Overby got the win, as he started for the Hornets and allowed one run over three innings striking out six and walking just one. Tanner came on in relief for the final two frames, also allowing just one run while striking out four and walking none.
Mississippi State signee Keilon Parnell had both of Pascagoula’s hits in the game and he also drove in a run. Braxton Jerrell took the loss for the Panthers, which dropped to 0-2 on the season with the loss.
On Monday, against the Hurricanes, East Central never trailed again as the Hornets took a lead they would never relinquish plating single runs in each of the first two innings.
Haydn Porter paced the 12-hit attack for ECHS as he collected three singles and drove in a run while Jaxson Cripps and Carson Ryder each had a pair of hits and drove in a run as well. Branst Dickerson also had to hits for the Hornets, while Nathan Trochssstt added an RBI double and one of Cripps’ hits was a double as well.
The same two teams will play again on Friday.
Meanwhile, Pascagoula opened the season last week on Tuesday with a 12-4 loss on the road to Columbia Academy. The game was actually knotted up at 4-4 after five frames, but the home-standing Cougars rallied for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the win.
Griffin Wells had two hits and drove in a run in the loss for the Panthers, while Parnell had an RBI triple and Jarrell added a run-scoring single.
Jarrell started and struck out five in just two innings of work on the hill for PHS, and Brayden Scott followed with three frames of relief striking out five as well. Angel Solivan entered in the sixth and took the loss.
On Monday night, the Panthers dropped to 0-3 on the young season falling in their home opener to St. Stanislaus 5-2.
It was the first win of the year for the Rock-A-Chaws, as they now stand 1-3 on the year.
Scott belted a home run for Pascagoula.