Picayune pounds Poplarville
By CURTIS ROCKWELL
Item Sports Editor
POPLARVILLE — Over the weekend, Picayune suffered its first two game losing streak of the year.
On Tuesday, the Maroon Tide took out the frustration of their recent woes on Poplarville.
Led by Dandy Dozen standout Jared Bales, visiting Picayune smacked 14 hits and ran roughshod over the young Hornets as the Maroon Tide cruised to an 18-3 five inning win.
The win moves 11-th ranked Picayune to 14-3 overall and 10-1 in Division 8-4A action, while the Hornets, who entered the game with an outside shot of making the playoffs, fall to 3-17 overall and 3-8 in league play.
Bales, who came into the game hitting over .700, had four hits and drove in four runs as he smacked two triples a double and a single in the win. Hunter Gill added three hits and winning pitcher Bryce Ladner also added a pair of hits to the winning cause as well.
Ladner was the beneficiary on the hill of Picayune’s explosive attack, as he remained perfect on the season moving to 7-0. Jade Whitten took the loss to fall to 1-4.
The game was knotted at 2-2 after one frame, as the Tide got RBI-singles from Gill and Evan Nichelson in the opening inning and Poplarville countered with both Taylor Carr and Whitten driving in runs.
But from there, it was all Picayune as the Maroon Tide would add 13 runs over the next three frames to wash away the Hornets.
In the second stanza, Jacob Riser drove in a pair of runs and Gill added an RBI while Bales blasted a run scoring triple.
In the third, Ladner, Bales and Gill all drove in runs as the Tide made it 9-2.
Then, Picayune added a six spot in the fourth as Brett Milner drove in a run and later scored on a Hornet error, and then Bales cracked a two run triple and Gill and Ladner added RBI-singles.
Poplarville scored its final run when Adam Naquin scored. Dexter Childs also had a double for the Hornets.
Picayune added three more runs in the fifth, as Riser and Bales drove in runs and Milner reached base on a walk and came around to score on a wild pitch.
The teams will meet again on Thursday in Picayune, as the Tide celebrates Senior night. The game was originally slated for Friday, but moved up a day.
With the win, the Maroon Tide moved into first place in the league after St. Stanislaus beat Long Beach 5-4 on Tuesday night as well. Picayune can clinch its first district crown since 2003 with either a win over Poplarville on Thursday night or a Long Beach loss to SSC, as those two teams will tangle once again tonight in Harrison County.
Also, Bay High beat D’Iberville 5-2 in league play as well, keeping Poplarville still alive in the playoff picture.
Picayune, LBHS and SSC have all secured playoff berths and the fourth and final spot will come down to either the Hornets, D’Iberville or Bay.
The playoffs begin a week from Friday.
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