After rallying for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 3-3 tie, the state champion East Central Community College Diamond Warriors were unable to repeat the performance in the final frame and Pearl River Community College escaped with a 5-3 victory Saturday afternoon in the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament.

East Central finished 32-21 following the double-elimination event. The Diamond Warriors fell 12-1 to PRC in the opening round Thursday and rallied for a 7-6 win over Northwest Mississippi Community College Friday.

Pearl River advanced to the championship round with LSU-Eunice Saturday night but the Wildcats were blanked 5-0 by the Tigers who won the title without a loss in the three-day tournament. The Wildcats (41-14) would have needed two wins over LSU-Eunice to claim the championship.

LSU-Eunice (47-8) advances to the 2013 NJCAA Division II World Series scheduled May 25-June 1 in Enid, OK.

In EC's finale with Pearl River, the Wildcats grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth following a RBI single by Nathan Pugh and a fielding error by the Warrior defense.

The Wildcats added a run in the seventh inning following another infield miscue.

EC got on the scoreboard in the eighth inning following Dominican Republic native Rubert Alcantara's sacrifice fly that scored Ryan Shotts of Louisville, who earlier singled. Kalik May of Tuscaloosa County and Deion Ulmer of Laurel later scored following infield miscues. May got on base after being hit by a pitch and Ulmer reached base on a fielder's choice.

The Wildcats took the lead for good on Paul Pickerrell's two-run double in the ninth.

EC managed just four hits of Wildcat right-hander Jake Brumfield - singles by Shotts, Ulmer, Chase Domino of Fairhope (Ala.) High School and Terrence Steele of Neshoba Central.

Slugger Tim Anderson left the game in the third inning after being hit by a pitch and did not return to the lineup. He was taken to a local hospital for observation and was cleared to play had East Central advanced to the championship round. The major league prospect is a product of Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Mitchell Wooten took the loss in relief. The right-hander from Edinburg went 2/3 innings and allowed one earned run on one hit. He also fanned a batter.

Starter Severino Signa went 6 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run on four hits. The right-hander fanned three batters and walked five. He is a product of Deer Creek High School.

Southpaw Brady McBride and right-hander Jordan Mixon also appeared on the mound. McBride allowed two hits and walked one during one wining of work. He is a product of Northeast Jones High School. Mixon pitched the final inning and allowed two hits.