Big week for local teams

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It promises to be a big week for all three prep baseball teams in Pearl River County.

There is something on the line in some way, shape or form for Picayune, Pearl River Central and Poplarville as league play wraps up for all three in their respective districts.

Both the Maroon Tide and Blue Devils are assured already of playoff berths and both will be fighting for region titles this week.

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“It’s gonna be a fun week, hopefully,” veteran Picayune head coach Cayne Stockstill said. “It should be exciting for everyone involved.”

Pearl River Central can wrap up the Region 6-5A championship with a win either Tuesday or Thursday over Brookhaven. The Blue Devils host the Panthers Tuesday and travel to Brookhaven Thursday. The Panthers, who lost 8-6 to PRC two weeks ago, need a sweep to prevent head coach Neil Walther’s squad from winning the league crown.

The Maroon Tide is basically in the same boat. Picayune needs a win tonight over homestanding Stone County to capture the Region 7-5A title. Picayune stands 5-3 in league play after falling to West Harrison 5-2 Friday night. Long Beach is also 5-3 in the standings, while Stone stood 4-3 and was scheduled to face West Harrison Monday night at home. Long Beach hosts West Harrison tonight as well to wrap up district play.

With a loss to the Tomcats tonight, the Maroon Tide could drop to as low as the third seed.

For Poplarville, the situation is a little more cloudy.

The Hornets are tied at 5-3 in the Region 8-4A race with both Pass Christian and Vancleave. St. Stanislaus is 10-0, and has wrapped up the league crown, so it comes down to the three teams that are tied for second place vying for a pair of playoff spots.

Poplarville plays Vancleave twice this week, while Pass plays SSC twice. The Hornets travel to Vancleave tonight, before hosting the Bulldogs Thursday night.

Poplarville split with Pass Christian, and the Pirates have already split with Vancleave. There are numerous possibilities that will determine what teams will qualify for the state playoffs based on what happens this week.

All three teams prepared for the push toward the playoffs with wins over the weekend.

Pearl River Central beat Jackson Wingfield Friday in region play 12-2.

Chance Putnam started and went three, striking out all nine hitters he faced to earn the win. PRC was led offensively by Jake Scheuerman and Stetson Smith who had 2 RBI’s apiece. Cody Lee pitched the final four innings in relief allowing two runs, one of them which was earned.

On Saturday, the Blue Devils swept homestanding Pass Christian 10-0 and 9-4.

In game one, Dylan Spiers pitched a complete game shutout to move to 5-1 while striking out six.

PRC struck for two in the first when Christian Smith singled and Jeshua Lee got hit by a pitch. Smith stole third and scored when the ball from the catcher sailed into left field. Lee then stole third and scored on a groundout by Spiers.

PRC scored again in the third when Lee once again got hit by a pitch and stole second and third, where he later scored on a Christian Travis single into left.

After putting two more up in the fourth PRC went on to score five in the fifth. The Devils started the inning with a Smith single up the middle, followed by a walk to Lee, and a bunt single by Travis. Spiers would be hit by a pitch to score the first run in the inning and was followed by Wesley Mitchell who was also hit by a pitch to plate another run. Mason Songy later singled in two runs to end the game by the ten run rule.

In game two, Cody Miller (4-1) pitched five innings to get the win and Jeshua Lee pitched the final two for the Devils.

PRC scored one in the third when, after Christian Travis stole second base, Dylan Spiers hit a single up the middle to score the first run of game two. Pass Christian would strike for three in the top half of the fourth when they would hit four singles in the inning after leading off the inning reaching on an error. Miller would pitch his way out of trouble in the inning with a bases loaded strikeout and two pop ups in the infield.

PRC struck back with four in the bottom half of the fourth when Chance Putnam led off with a walk and was followed by singles from Anthony Hickman and Stettson Smith to load the bases.

Christian Smith then got hit by a pitch to make it 3-2 Pass. Wesley Mitchell then hit a ground ball to second which was misplayed scoring Hickman and courtesy runner Dylan Ingram. PRC would score their fourth run in the inning on a ground out by Dylan Spiers.

PRC would strike for four more in the fifth when Cody Lee led off the inning with a single and scored on a double by Putnam. After a Hickman single Stetson Smith would drive in two with a double to deep left making the score 8-3. PRC would score their ninth run with a sacrifice fly by Christian Smith.

The Blue Devils stand 17-2 overall and 7-0 in league play.

• Meanwhile, Picayune fell to West Harrison Friday 5-2 in league play. It was the first district win of the year for the Hurricanes, after six straight losses.

The Hurricanes scored two runs in the first to take a lead they would never relinquish. Two more runs in the third made it 4-0. Those runs came off Maroon Tide starter Cody Hambrick, who took the loss.

Picayune cut the deficit in half in the fourth, without the aid of a hit. Brady Warden drove Ina run with a sacrifice fly, but that would bas a s close as the Maroon Tide would get.

Picayune bounced back on Saturday, picking up a 2-0 win over powerful Columbia. The decision snapped a 12 game winning streak for the Wildcats.

Dylan Breaux hurled a complete game shutout, scattering just three hits and striking out six. Hayden Falls had two hits and drove in a run in the winning effort.

• Poplarville beat Bay High on the road in league play 8-1 Friday night.

Jake Smith had three hits, including a double, and Chandler Ray a pair of hits to lead the winning 10-hit attack for the Hornets. Smith and Austin Darden each had an RBI for Poplarville.

Blake Ladner went five innings to pick up the win, while Chance Seals finished up.

On Saturday, Poplarville beat homestanding Hattiesburg 10-3.

Brandon Spiers went the distance to pick up the win.

Chandler Ray had three hits to pace Poplarville at the plate, while Justin Oliver, Tyler Welch and Blake Ladner each added a pair of hits apiece to the winning cause.

Spiers and Luke Goodwin drove in a pair of runs apiece, while Ray and Welch each added an RBI. Ray, Welch, Spiers and Oliver each had a double.

St. Stanislaus beat Vancleave 10-0 in league play Friday night to wrap up the region title.

The Rockachaws have swept Poplarville, Vancleave, Moss Point and Bay High so far in league play. The Hornets played SSC as close as anyone else, dropping a pair of 1-0 decisions two weeks ago.