By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
The state playoffs begin for prep baseball across the state of Mississippi tonight.
A trio of local teams qualified for the postseason, with a pair of those hitting the diamond this weekend.
Both Picayune and Poplarville take the field to open the playoffs, as the Maroon Tide travels to Moss Point and the Hornets host Columbia.
Picayune and Pearl River Central qualified for the Class 5A South State playoffs. The Blue Devils won the Division 8-5A title, so they have bye until next week.
The Maroon Tide and Moss Point face off in Jackson County at Guy Lassiter Field tonight at 7 p.m. Two games, if necessary, will be played Saturday in Picayune beginning at 1 p.m., to decide the best of three series.
Picayune swept a pair of games from Moss Point earlier this season. The Tigers finished third in Division 7-5A.
The winner of the Picayune-Moss Point series will face Pearl, the Division 6-5A champion, next week.
Pearl River Central will face the winner of the Stone-Brookhaven series next week.
Poplarville finished third in Division 8-4A, and gets the Wildcats in the opening round. Columbia finished second in Division 6-4A.
The teams open the series in Poplarville tonight. Two games, if needed, will be played Saturday in Columbia beginning at 1 p.m.
Poplarville is coming off a 2-1 loss in eight innings to Stone County on Monday night. Ashton Miley took the loss, despite combining with Chance Seals, Chandler Ray and Hayden Freeman to strike out 12 Tomcats in the eight frames of work.
The Hornets were coming off a doubleheader sweep of PRC, winning 5-0 and 16-7. Blake Ladner and Zac Houston picked up the pitching wins.
PRC played Oak Grove at Jones County Junior College Thursday night in its final tune-up before the playoffs.
Picayune is coming off a 9-2 loss to Hattiesburg at William Carey Monday night. Peyton Lee took the loss, while Nick Marble and Mark Wood each had a double for the Maroon Tide.