Successful start

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 20, 2014

It was a successful start to district play for all three Pearl River County prep baseball teams Tuesday night.

Picayune, Pearl River Central and Poplarville all opened league play with wins in their respective regions.

Both PRC and Poplarville rolled at home, as the Blue Devils beat Natchez 11-0 in five innings and the Hornets knocked off Moss Point 12-2 in six frames. Picayune, meanwhile, went on the road and shut down perennial state power Long Beach 7-0.

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In Carriere, Chance Putnam, Cody Lee, and Jeshua Lee combined to throw a one hit shutout against the visiting Bulldogs. Putnam moved his record to 2-0 on the year with the win.

The Blue Devils did all of their damage in the second innings, scoring 11 runs on seven hits and five walks. PRC sent 16 batters to the plate in the stanza. Dylan Spiers scored two runs and knocked in two runs while Wesley Mitchell had two hits and scored two runs.

PRC head coach Neil Walther began emptying his bench in the third inning, with many Blue Devils seeing action in the game. PRC is 1-0 in Region 5-5A play and will travel to Natchez for a doubleheader Friday night that begins at 5 p.m., With the second game to follow.

• Picayune’s Peyton Lee dominated the homestanding Bearcats in the renewal of a longtime Region 7-5A rivalry. Lee threw six strong shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out nine.

Kyle Dillard got Picayune off to a quick start, as he smashed a two-run home run to left-centerfield in the second inning to give the Maroon Tide a lead it would never relinquish. Devin Hedgepeth had a pair of hits in the win and drove in a run as well, while Cody Hamrick delivered an RBI-single in the top of the seventh.

Hamrick’s hit was part of a four run top of the seventh for Picayune, that broke open a tight 3-0 game. After the rally, Mark Wood replaced Lee on the mound and wrapped up the win.

Picayune is 1-0 in league play, and will host Long Beach Friday night.

• Poplarville wasted no time in jumping on the visiting Tigers, scoring two runs in the first and adding three more in the second to take a quick and commanding lead.

Blake Ladner picked up the win, going the distance scattering six hits, striking out 10 and allowing no walks.

The Hornets pounded out 16 hits against Tiger pitching. Brandon Spiers had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in four runs to pace Poplarville at the plate. Jake Smith, Justin Oliver and Luke Goodwin each had a pair of hits and drove in a pair of runs in the winning effort. Smith, Goodwin and Chandler Ray each collected a double. Ladner added a pair of hits as well. Tyler Welch had two hits and drove in a run, while Ray drove in a run also.

Poplarville is 1-0 in Region 8-4A action.

The same two teams meet in Moss Point Friday night.