By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Associated press
Poplarville pitcher Blake Ladner had a huge hand in helping the Hornets secure a playoff berth.
Ladner tossed a complete game, four hit shutout as the visiting Hornets knocked off St. Stanislaus 6-0 Friday.
The win moved head coach J.J. Fortune's crew to 12-10 overall, but more importantly wrapped up league play at 6-4 for the Hornets. The win secured a berth in the upcoming Region 8-4A playoffs, which begin next week.
The top two teams in the league have been decided, with Poplarville and Greene County already in the playoffs.
The top team will get a first round bye, and currently GCHS is in the top spot with Poplarville second and SSC third. All regular season league play is over, except for this week's SSC vs. Forrest County series. The league standings won't be finalized until Friday.
All SSC needs is one win over the Aggies this week to clinch the third spot. If FCAHS sweeps the Rock-A-Chaws this week, then SSC, FCAHS and Vancleave all finish in a tie for third and a tie-breaker will decide the third and final playoff team from Region 8-4A.
Poplarville hosts Hattiesburg tonight.
Meanwhile, also tonight, Pearl River Central and Picayune resume their long time rivalry in Picayune.
The Blue Devils wrapped up the Division 8-5A championship with 4-3win in extra innings over the Maroon Tide Friday. Chance Putnam in expected to take the hill for PRC, while Peyton Lee should be on the mound for Picayune.
Picayune is coming off a pair of losses on Saturday at home, falling to 3-1 to Columbia and 11-2 to Hattiesburg.
Devin Hedgepeth took the loss against the Wildcats, despite striking out 10. Dalton Hedgepeth took the loss against the Tigers.
Picayune and Hattiesburg will meet Monday at 6 p.m., at Milton Wheeler Field on the campus of William Carey University.
This is the final district game for both teams. PRC is already assured of a first round bye in the upcoming Class 5A South state playoffs, while Picayune will face Moss Point in the opening round which begins one week from Friday, on April 26.
After tonight's action, PRC will host Poplarville in a doubleheader beginning at 4:30 on Friday while Picayune