Maroon Tide stays alive with big win

Published 9:23 pm Monday, May 10, 2010

Picayune’s bats came alive on Saturday afternoon just in time to keep the Maroon Tide’s season from slipping away.

Head coach Cayne Stockstill’s crew banged out 15 hits and rallied for nine runs in their  final two at bats, overcoming a 3-2 deficit in the process and pulling out an 11-3 win over visiting Long Beach in game two of the Class 5A South State semifinal’s best-of-three series.

Saturday’s outcome, combined with a 10-0 Bearcat win on Friday, forces a third and deciding game at 6 p.m., Monday night at Mike Rutledge Field in Long Beach.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I think we were a little tight to begin with,” Stockstill, whose team fell behind 3-0 in the first frame, said. “We just got them out in front of the dugout and told them we had to make something happen if we wanted to keep playing. And we did.”

Jay Dedeaux got the Maroon Tide on the board initially with an RBI-double in the third that made it 3-1. Eric Smith followed with a run scoring single in the fourth to close the gap to 3-2.

Then, in the fifth, the Maroon Tide played some small ball laying down four bunts and getting some help from a pair of Bearcat errors to take the lead for good with a four run rally.

Kyle Beech scored the tying run from second on a throwing error, and Marvin Van Buren followed with a bases loaded walk to give the Tide the lead for good. Jonathan Hickman and Smith also drove in runs in the game winning rally.

“We had to figure out a way to apply pressure, because we aren’t going to go up there and just knock down the fences,” Stockstill, who is trying to get the Maroon Tide back to the South State championship round for the second straight season, said. “Luckily we got into a rhythm and made some things happen.”

Just for good measure, Picayune sealed the win with five more runs in the sixth as Drew Hedgepath and Dedeaux each had two run singles and Colton Lee added an RBI-single as well.

After allowing the three runs in the first frame, Picayune pitcher J.D. Stockstill settled down and picked up the win. He actually seemed to get stronger as the game went on, striking out six of the last eight hitters he faced in earning the victory.