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Tide facing state champs

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

Last year, Picayune and East Central faced each other to open the Class 4A South State playoffs.

This season, the same teams will face off to close out the South State portion of the postseason.

East Central, which struggled with the Maroon Tide before winning in three games last year, travels to Picayune for game one of the South State championship thursday night at 7.

“It ws a great series we had with them last year,” Picayune head coach Cayne Stockstill said. “I expect this one to be just as hard fought, but hopefully the outcome will be different.”

The Hornets are the defending state champions, and come ito the series with some impressive credentials.

Veteran head coach Gary Long has a solid pitching staff, led by Trey Porter who is expected to take the mound in game one. Porter is an impressive 10-1 on the year, and is part of a staff that includes unbeaten Joel Tanner (9-0) and well as Matt Linton who is perfect also at 6-0.

At the plate, Long counts on Taylor Bonafacio, Linton, Porter, Chase Ehlers and Jarrod Howell all of whom are hitting either over .400 or close to that mark on the year.

In addition, ECHS senior catcher Brayden Dykes is one of the top power htters on the Gulf Coast with six home runs and 23 RBIs.

Ehlers also has 10 stolen bases.