County baseball squads in action

Published 6:32 pm Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just like prep football teams have had the experience of spring training over the years, high school baseball teams have begun to join the mix as well over the past several years.

Picayune and Pearl River Central each kicked off spring baseball play over the weekend at the annual Biloxi High Tournament. In fact, the two local teams played each other to begin action on Friday.

Just in case the score mattered, the Maroon Tide edged the Blue Devils 4-3 at the Biloxi High complex.

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“Without a doubt, it’s an important time for us because we basically get to work with the team we will have next year when the season starts,” Picayune head coach Cayne Stockstill said. “This is a crucial time for us, because this is when we begin setting the foundation for next season.”

The spring season takes the place of what used to be summer league programs for high school age players or American Legion ball.

“We’ll play 18 or 20 games from now until the end of June, and it makes a difference for us,” PRC head coach Greg Lewis added. “Instead of guys being spread around in different leagues or whatever, we play a schedule with what will basically be our high school team that will take the field for us next season.”

Picayune played three games in the Biloxi Tournament, beating the host Indians as well before falling to Gulfport.

Due to conflicts with the prom, PRC just played the opener against Picayune in the event.

“We haven’t stopped working really since the season ended, and this is just part of that process,” Stockstill, who will be entering his fifth season at the helm of his alma mater next year, said. “This way we get to continue it like an extension of last season through the end of June and then the players get July off before they have to be back in school.”