Hornets earn playoff bid

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

POPLARVILLE — Poplarville wrapped up a spot in the Class 4A South State playoffs Thursday night with a 5-3 win over Visiting Vancleave.

The Hornets qualify as the number two seed in Region 8-4A, after completing a sweep this week of the Bulldogs.

“It was a big win for us,” Poplarville interim head coach Lance Hendrix said. “I think with what the kids had to go through with the coaching change and all at the beginning of the season that a lot of people thought we would just fall apart. But the kids just pulled together and fought back and played well. I fell good about how we are playing going into the playoffs.”

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Poplarville stands 13-8 overall and finished up 7-3 in league play. St. Stanislaus won the league with a perfect 10-0 mark. Pass Christian and Vancleave finished tied for third behind Poplarville, but the Pirates won the tie-breaker to take the third and final playoff spot.

Poplarville junior southpaw Hayden Freeman picked up the in the playoff clinching win. He went the distance, striking out nine scattering just three singles and walking just two in the complete game effort.

The Hornets overcame an early 1-0 deficit with three runs in the second stanza. Poplarville would never trail again.

Hendrix’s crew added two more runs in the fourth to seal the win.

Luke Goodwin had a big two run double for the Hornets in the win, while Justin Oliver added two hits, including a double, and drove in a run as well.

In addition to his solid work on the mound, Freeman added a pair of singles at the plate to the winning effort as well for Poplarville.

The Hornets will host Picayune Tuesday night to wrap up regular season play. They will open the playoffs Thursday night at home at 6 P.m., hosting Magee.