More than 50 hours after it was scheduled to begin, Game 3 of the Class 4A regional baseball playoff series between Pearl River and Grant finally started Monday afternoon.
The wait, not to mention several trips between tiny Dry Prong (north of Alexandria) and the north shore, didn’t bother Grant at all.
The ninth-seeded Cougars, who also won Game 2 on Saturday afternoon to force a rubber match in the series, defeated the Rebels again Monday 8-6. They will face top-ranked Teurlings Catholic in a quarterfinal series.
Eighth-seeded Pearl River ended its season with an 18-7 record.
As they did in Game 2, errant pitches plagued the Rebels, as three of Grant’s eight runs scored on wild pitches. When the balls were over the plate, the Cougars were a free-swinging bunch — rapping out 10 hits against a trio of Pearl River pitchers. The combination was something the host team couldn’t overcome.
“It was a little bit of everything,” Pearl River coach Steve Bullock said. “The whole series, every time there was a wild pitch or passed ball situation, they scored. We didn’t capitalize on those chances. And leaving runners on … and (you) can’t move them? That hurts.
“We haven’t given up this many hits since the second week of the season against Northshore. The pitching just wasn’t on its ‘A game’ today.”
In the top of the first, Grant’s Hunter Parker led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. Parker moved to third on a passed ball, and raced home on a wild pitch to put the Cougars ahead 1-0.
Unlike in the second game of the series, though, Pearl River answered right back. In the bottom of the first, Chad Simon was hit by a pitch, and moved to second on a passed ball. Dylan Kavanaugh singled him to third, and both scored on a long single by Chase Fals put the Rebels ahead 2-1.
Grant (21-9) tied it up in the second when Peyton Davison was hit by a pitch, sacrificed to second, and came home on an RBI single by Taylor Kight. The Cougars took the lead in the third when a pair of singles, a wild pitch, and a hit batter plated two runs and made the score 4-2.
Pearl River came back again in the fourth. Trailing 4-3, the Rebels’ Daniel Charbonnet doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild throw attempting to nab him at third base. Simon then singled, stole second, and scored on Kavanaugh’s single.
Daniel Dugas plated the third run of the inning with an RBI single to shallow left.
That was all the offense Pearl River would muster, however, as the Cougars’ Dustin King came on in relief to start the fifth and faced only one batter over the minimum in the final three innings.
The Cougars, meanwhile, chipped away at the lead. They closed the gap to one run in the fifth, when Lane Danzy singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch. In the sixth, Grant tied it at 6 on an RBI single by Parker. Lane Danzy gave them the lead for good with a two-run double to right field.
Kavanaugh, Fals, Dugas and Charbonnet each had two hits for Pearl River.