Picayune splits doubleheader at PRCC Tournament

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Picayune varsity baseball team came out swinging against Columbia Academy in the Pearl River Community College Tournament Saturday afternoon, scoring three early runs. However, the Maroon Tide was unable to fasten its lead, losing 10-3 in the tournament opener. In a separate game later that day, Picayune bounced back with a hot streak in the fifth inning to beat Oak Forest Academy 5-4.

The Tide’s JuVonta Raymond immediately put Columbia Academy on its heels after knocking an RBI double to bring Shaun Anderson home, starting a hitting frenzy that resulted in a plate appearance from the proceeding four batters. After Robert Shoemake and Ryan Randall hit singles to load the bases, the Tide’s Jacob Brumley stepped up to the plate, cranking an RBI single past the infield to make the score 2-0 with only one out at the top of the first inning. Next up to bat was Caleb Burnette who brought home another early run for Picayune with an RBI single, but after that hit, the Tide struggled to find another offensive groove.

“We got away from our mentality,” Picayune Head Coach Cody Stogner said. “It just seemed like the effort wasn’t there to put pressure on them and the game just got away from us.”

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Columbia quickly responded on offense in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three runs to tie the game 3-3 heading into the second.

Burnette (0-1) started on the mound for Picayune, tallying one strikeout while giving up six earned runs in the first two innings. Tyler Penton then took his place, starting out with one of his four strikeouts of the game, but still couldn’t get his team over the hump, allowing the Tigers to get to a 9-3 lead going into the top of the fourth inning.

After that, Stogner said the game plateaued, with only one run scored by the Tigers for the remainder of the game after multiple attempts to put a dent in the Tigers’ lead late in the game.

“We were hitting the ball fine, we just couldn’t find any holes,” Stogner said. “Columbia Academy is a great hitting team, and you can’t walk players against them.”

Picayune could not recover from the early deficit, resulting in a 10-3 loss to Columbia Academy.

In Picayune’s preceding game in the PRCC Tournament, the team fought off a late comeback attempt by Oak Forest Academy after mounting a five-run binge in the fifth inning to beat the Yellowjackets 5-4.

“The team started believing in themselves after connecting on a couple of runs, which was huge to holding them off,” Stogner said.

Tyler Fletcher (1-0) got the win for the Tide after Trenton Lee shut the door on the Yellowjackets’ comeback with two strikeouts to save the game for Picayune.

Anderson and Lee both notched an RBI against Oak Forest Academy.

Picayune (2-3) will travel to Bay St. Louis to square off against Bay High School on Tuesday at 7 p.m.