Tide’s playoff push continues

Published 5:14 am Thursday, April 30, 2009

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

Picayune head baseball coach Cayne Stockstill’s Maroon Tide crew actually provided him with not one but two gifts with Friday’s win over Vancleave.

Not only did the victory wrap up a two game sweep of the Bulldogs and move Picayune into the next round, but it afforded Stockstill the chance to go to Monticello and scout his team’s next opponent as Lawrence County beat Wayne County in game three of that series.

Getting to actually see your next foe in person is a rarity in the playoffs, and something Stockstill hopes will pay off for his team.

It also allowed Stockstill to see the Cougars bang out 17 hits and 14 runs in the 14-5 win over the War Eagles.

“They get after you like Vancleave, they are scrappy,” Stockstill said. “They play in a smaller park, and they hit the ball all over the place. I’m not sure their pitching is as good as Vancleave’s, but we will have our hands full.”

The Bulldog pitchers limited Picayune to just one run over the first 16 innings of play in that series, but the Maroon Tide took a pair of extra inning wins to move on.

Lawrence County is paced at the plate by Coner Oakes, who hit a pair of grand slams in the series against Wayne County.

Lane Stephens had 3 hits and drove in 3 runs in Saturday’s series clincher, and Wesley Wilson had 3 hits and scored 3 runs also. Scott Votaw had 2 hits, including a homerun, and catcher Dillon Lee added a single and a double.

Willie Buckley’s 3-run blast that landed on top of the old LCHS gymnasium put the game away for the Cougars.

Votaw is the Cougars’ top pitcher, while Oakes, Buckley and Jamie McCardle all are expected to see time on the mound for Lawrence County and head coach Cory Keys as well.

Picayune’s playoff pitching has been particularly proficient as well, thanks to the likes of Jared Bales, Bryce Ladner and Jonathan Hickman.

The teams face off Friday at 6 p.m., in Picayune, before game two takes place in Monticello at 3 Saturday afternoon.

Stockstill is asking all Picayune fans to wear maroon to the rest of the home games in order to Maroon Out the Cougars.