POPLARVILLE – Team Caver and Team Crim’s offensive spurts led to the two teams to split their doubleheader on Wednesday at Pearl River Community College’s Dub Herring Park.
Team Caver won the first game 8-3 while Team Crim won the second game on a tiebreaker decision.
“We played really well today,” Team Caver head coach Colton Caver said. “The offense came out swinging it. It was a close game there through the first five innings. We just started swinging it better than they did and took the lead and won.”
In the first game, Team Caver (3-1) and Team Crim traded runs through the first four innings of the game.
The game opened with a foreshadowing of the game’s offensive production as Team Caver’s Landon Jordan (Mississippi State) opened the game with a solo home run. Kris Jones (Pearl River CC) added a run on a sac fly to give Team Caver a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Team Crim (1-3) answered with John Mitchell (Meridian CC) hitting a solo home run in the second inning.
In the third inning, Team Caver stayed ahead as a passed ball behind the catcher scored and gave Team Caver a 3-1 lead. Team Crim tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth inning with two RBI singles.
But Team Caver’s offense surged and tacked on five more runs in the fifth inning, which was capped off by a two-run home run by Jones and sealed an 8-3 win.
However, the momentum shifted at Team Crim opened the game with a four-run inning.
Team Crim’s lead was extended 8-0 by a grand slam from Reed Trimble (Southern Miss).
“That was pretty impressive,” Caver said. “Team Crim came out swinging, and we answered back for a close game. They went out there and competed for every pitch.”
“It felt good,” Trimble said. “I knew it was gone when I hit it. I had been struggling up until today. It feels good to hit a ball solid and get on base and help a team win.”
Despite trailing 8-0, Team Caver answered quickly in the third inning. Team Caver scored four runs with Jordan and Gentry Tigrett (Hinds CC) hitting RBI singles and Kasey Donaldson (PRCC), who hit an RBI double.
At the same time, Team Caver’s relief pitchers were instrumental in staging the comeback. Forrest County AHS alum Luke Odom (East Central CC) and Jones combined to strike out six batters in 4.1 innings. Team Caver was then able to tie the game with four more runs scored in the fourth and fifth innings.
“We have a lot of junior college guys, and they are used to playing doubleheaders,” Caver said.
But in an unorthodox ending, the game was decided on the league’s new tiebreaker. In the event that two teams are tied after seven innings or reach the two hour and 15-minute time limit, then a game of rock, paper, and scissors will decide the outcome of the game. According to Caver, the tiebreaker is an illustration of the fun players should have during summer league play.
“Nobody wants to end a game in a tie. It doesn’t do anything for either team when it comes down to the final season statistics and wins versus losses. We came up with it at the last minute and decided to do it old school,” Caver said. “Rock, paper, scissors officially decide ties and it’s a fun part of playing summer college baseball.”