Local prep baseball season begins this weekend

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 1, 2014

OPENING DAY: Local baseball and softball teams kicked off their season Friday night at the Pearl River Central Sports Complex in Carriere.  Photo by Curtis Rockwell

OPENING DAY: Local baseball and softball teams kicked off their season Friday night at the Pearl River Central Sports Complex in Carriere.
Photo by Curtis Rockwell

CARRIERE — It’s a big weekend for those folks that like diamonds.

They kind you play on, not the kind you wear.

Prep baseball and softball begin play officially this weekend, and most local baseball fans headed here to the Pearl River Central Sports Complex on Friday.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Pearl River County Classic will feature all three county teams as well as neighboring Hancock in a two-day, four-game affair to officially begin the season.

Picayune and Poplarville got the new season off a bit earlier than most folks, as the Maroon Tide and Hornets met in the opener of the Classic Friday afternoon. Following that game, the host PRC team will met Hancock. Last season, all three county teams made the state playoffs.

On Saturday, Picayune and Hancock will meet at 11 a.m., followed by Pearl River Central and Poplarville sometime after 1 p.m.

The fast-pitch softball season got underway Friday, with Pearl River Central hosting Gautier. Poplarville faces Stone County Saturday.

The Picayune girls are one of a group of teams from across South Mississippi invited to participate in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Softball Classic, which will take place over a three day span at the Gulfport SportsPlex.

Mississippi State, South Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette highlight the college lineup, which features 25 games on three fields over a three-day period. Also in action will be Memphis, Baylor, Texas State, Chattanooga, Ohio, Nicholls State and Texas-San Antonio.

The high school portion of the event includes 30 games on four fields split between Friday and Saturday. Among those local teams in action are East Central, Pascagoula, St. Martin, George County, Ocean Springs, Vancleave, St. Patrick, Harrison Central, Gulfport and Biloxi.

The Lady Tide faces Wayne County at 3 p.m., today and D’Iberville at 5 p.m.

Tickets for the Gulf Coast Softball Classic are $10 per day or $20 for a weekend pass. The Gulfport SportsPlex is located just north of I-10 at Exit 31 (Canal Road).