Hornets’ Freeman strikes out 17 in win

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MOSS POINT — Poplarville pitcher Hayden Freeman made his first district start a memorable one.

The junior southpaw hurled a one-hit shutout on the road against Moss Point Friday night, striking out 17 and walking none as the Hornets beat the Tigers 3-0 in Region 8-4A action.

The 6-foot-7 Freeman was perfect through four frames, before Abron Sipp led off the fifth with a single. That would be the only flaw for Freeman all night, as the Hornets moved to a perfect 2-0 in league play.

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Freeman also helped himself at the plate with a pair of hits. Jake Smith had a pair of hits and drove in a run for the Hornets, while Justin Oliver added two hits also including a double. Luke Goodwin and Tyler Welch each had run-scoring doubles in the winning effort.

The Hornets followed that win up by splitting a doubleheader with visiting Hancock Saturday. Poplarville won the opener 8-5 behind a complete game performance from Chandler Ray, before the Hawks rallied with four late runs in the second game to take a 4-2 win.

Brandon Spiers, Freeman and Goodwin each had a pair of hits and drove in a run apiece in the win for Poplarville. Smith had an RBI-double as well.

Ray scattered eight hits and allowed just two earned runs in getting the win. He also drove in a run in the second game.

Chance Seals started and pitched into the seventh with a 2-0 lead in the nightcap. The Hawks rallied for four runs, as Blake Ladner took the loss in relief.

Poplarville is 6-6 overall, and hosts Pass Christian tonight in league play.

• Pearl River Central moved to 3-0 in Region 5-5A play Friday by sweeping a doubleheader from homestanding Natchez. The Blue Devils combined for 53 runs in just two innings of play, winning game one 19-1 and game two 34-1. Both games were called after five innings.

In game one, Dylan Spiers started and went two innings striking out five to get the win.  He moves to 3-1 on the year. Natchez pitchers issued 15 walks and hit four batters.  PRC finished with six hits. Jeshua Lee, Wesley Mitchell, Dylan Spiers, and Christian Travis each drove in a pair of runs apiece for PRC.

In game two, Cody Miller started for PRC and went three innings, moving his record to 3-1. Natchez pitchers issued 16 walks and hit eight batters while the Bulldogs also committed eight errors.  PRC scored eight in the first inning without getting a hit, thanks to seven walks and four hit batsmen. Andrew Krol, Nick Newman, and Dillon Mitchell each had two hits apiece for the Devils.

PRC is 10-2 overall, and hosts Ben’s Ford Thursday night.

• Picayune dropped its first Region 8-4A game Friday night, as visiting Long Beach pulled out an 11-10 win.

The Bearcats jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead off Maroon Tide starter and losing pitcher Dylan Breaux in the top of the first, and never trailed though Picayune rallied and came within a run three different times.

Kyle Dillard had a three-run double for Picayune, while brothers Devin and Dalton Hedgepeth each had a pair of hits and both drove in a run as well. Peyton Lee also had a pair of hits for Picayune.

The Maroon Tide bounced back with a 10-4 win over Harrison Central on Saturday.

Dillard picked up the win. Mark Wood had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in two runs as well to pace Picayune at the plate while Hayden Falls also had three hits in the win. Morgan Dragon had two hits, including double, and drove in two runs also.

Picayune is 6-3 overall, and travels to West Harrison in district play tonight.