Tide beats Hornets again

Published 3:55 am Friday, April 10, 2009

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

Picayune celebrated Senior Night in fine fashion Thursday.

The homestanding Maroon Tide 10-run ruled Poplarville for the second time in three days, beating the Hornets 11-1 in five innings.

The win moved the 12th-ranked Tide to 15-3 overall on the season, and Picayune wraps up the Division 8-4A championship with an impressive 11-1 mark.

Poplarville, which was eliminated from the playoff race with the loss and D’Iberville’s win over Bay High, is 3-17 overall and finishes league play at 3-9.

“I am very proud of our seniors,” Picayune head coach Cayne Stockstill said. “We were kind of considered the underdogs in the district coming into the season, but these guys bought into the team concept and it paid off with a championship.”

Fittingly, several seniors paced Picayune in the win, as Garrett Williams cracked three doubles and drove in three runs in the win, while Jared Bales had a home run and a double, Hunter Gill had a double and was the winning pitcher and Eric Cochran drove in two runs and Evan Nichelson had a pair of hits.

Gill struck out five and allowed just two Poplarville hits in earning the win on the bump.

Just like Tuesday’s game, which was tied 2-2 after the first inning before the Tide exploded for an 18-3 win, Thursday’s game was knotted at 1-1 after the first frame before Picayune erupted for seven runs in the next two frames to take control.

“I’m very happy with the way the season has gone, and hopefully we have hit a hot streak here this week because I still don’t think we have played our best game yet,” Stockstill added.

Eight Tide seniors enjoyed the evening, while Poplarville, which celebrated Senior Night Tuesday, has just two seniors on the team that are active.

“We are very young, and still learning,” first year Poplarville head coach J.J. Fortune said. “Our future looks good.”

Taylor Carr, one of the the Hornet seniors, took the loss.

Poplarville will host Gulfport Saturday afternoon before closing out its season at West Jones on Monday.

Picayune also hosts Gulfport Saturday afternoon and then will get ready for the opening round of the Class 4A South State playoffs which get underway one week from Friday.