Picayune’s late game surge outlasts Bay High 10-6

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Before Friday’s baseball game commenced, a field dedication was held for former Picayune Baseball Head Coach Kent “The Kirk” Kirkland, naming the Picayune baseball field after him.

As Kirkland walked off the field after the ceremony, talk of winning Friday’s game for Kirkland spread throughout the Picayune dugout, providing an extra boost that was vital for the Tide.

After trailing by four runs going into the top of the third inning, Picayune picked up its offensive pace, coming from behind to beat the Bay Tigers 10-6 Friday night.

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“We talked about not giving up the day before. I told the team that when you get into a fight like this, you got to keep pressuring the other team and never let up until the end of the game,” Picayune Baseball Head Coach Cody Stogner said.

To begin the game, Tide junior pitcher Peyton Esslinger manned the mound, finding a rhythm that was quickly sabotaged by the Tigers, forcing Picayune to change pitchers after just 1.1 innings pitched by Esslinger.

The Tigers grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, and expanded it to 4-0 after the Tide put its senior pitcher Tyler Fletcher on the mound.

However, the Tide was able to regroup and rally behind Fletcher and a plethora of efficient batting, finding holes to slowly apply pressure on the Bay Tigers’ defense.

Picayune junior Shaun Anderson made the first splash for the Tide, placing a nice bunt that allowed teammate Jeremiah Stallings to reach home plate from third base. Picayune captured this momentum and capitalized on another scoring opportunity in third inning as Fletcher cranked the ball deep into left field, which brought home another run to put the team behind the Tigers, 4-2.

Picayune’s pitching and defensive efforts shut out the Tigers from the 3rd to the 6th inning. In that stretch, Picayune capitalized on a few Bay errors, digging their cleats into an offensive groove that landed three runs in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings each. As the game headed into the final inning, the scoreboard read 7-2, in Picayune’s favor.

Tigers’ Gage Kiser attempted to pioneer a late 7th-inning comeback with a two-run homerun, but it wasn’t enough to muster a win against the fiery Maroon Tide. Picayune sent the game off 10-6.

On Saturday, Picayune competed in the Long Beach Tournament in which they lost the first game 6-3 to Long Beach. In the second bout, Shaun Anderson and Trenton Lee led the Tide to a 4-1 victory against D’Iberville. Anderson tallied a double with one RBI while Lee bashed a double as well along with two RBIs.

Picayune (4-5) will host Stone (5-3) for the team’s first district game of the season Tuesday night at 7.