By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Picayune finished the regular season nine games under the break even mark.
But, four games into the Class 5A South State playoffs. the Maroon Tide is unbeaten.
Picayune wrapped up its second straight series sweep Sunday, knocking off homestanding Pearl 1-0 behind an outstanding pitching performance by Jacob Taylor.
Taylor, a senior that has signed to play at Pearl River Community College next season, tossed a one-hit, complete game shutout as he struck out four and walked none. Nick Marble drove in the only run with a run-scoring double in the second inning in game two at Pearl High.
The win, combined with Saturday's 7-2 win in game one, pushes Picayune to 13-16 overall and into the South State semifinals beginning Friday. Picayune swept Moss Point in the opening round of the state playoffs.
On Saturday, Peyton Lee picked up the pitching win and also helped himself out by driving in three runs in the win.
Picayune trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the third, but the Maroon Tide tallied five runs to take control of the game. Lee had a two run single in the frame, while Gary Van Buren had an RBI-single and Devin Hedgepeth plated a run on a sacrifice squeeze.
Hayden Falls had an RBI-single in the fifth to make it 5-1, and Lee drove in another run with a single in the sixth to make it 7-1. Marble had a pair of doubles for Picayune in the win.
Picayune advances to play the winner of the East Central/South Jones series.The teams split the first two games and met Monday night to decide the winner.
If South Jones wins, Picayune will travel to South Jones on Friday for Game 1 and host Game 2 on Saturday with Game 3 (if needed) at South Jones on Monday.
If East Central wins, Picayune will host Friday, travel to Hurley Saturday, and host Monday (if a Game 3 is needed).
Picayune finished second in Division 8-5A, but has had much more success in the postseason than did regular season champ Pearl River Central.
The Blue Devils were swept over the weekend by Stone County, losing 2-1 in eight innings on the road Saturday afternoon. The Tomcats won game one in the series 4-0 Friday night.
Dylan Spiers was the losing pitcher in game two, and PRC ends the season at 15-12. The Blue Devils managed just nine hits in 15 innings of play in the pair of playoff losses.
Stone County moves on to face the winner of the Pascagoula-West Jones series winner.