Picayune lose 5-0 in game two against Long Beach

Published 4:02 pm Saturday, April 22, 2017

PICAYUNE — The Maroon Tide defense kept Saturday’s game a nail-biter for a majority of the afternoon, but made a couple of costly errors in the seventh inning that led to Long Beach scoring three runs to pull away with a 5-0 victory.

“[The Long Beach pitchers] were on. They got us off balance and threw well,” Picayune Head Coach Cody Stogner said, referencing to both Friday and Saturday games.

In game one of the series, it was Bearcats’ Justin Lockey opened the game for Long Beach with 10 strikeouts while only allowing two runs on four hits to go up 1-0 in the first round series. Saturday, Lockey continued leading the team, but this time with an early RBI single to tally the first Long Beach run of the game.

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After battling back and forth, Long Beach freshman Kobe Cook hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning into left outfield with runners on second and third base, bringing in the second run of the game to stay ahead 2-0 against the Tide.

Picayune’s JuVonta Raymond eagerly rounded third base while Long Beach was attempting a 6-4-3 double play in the bottom of the fourth, but he didn’t have enough time to beat the throw home, getting tagged out for the final out of the inning.

At the top of the fifth, Picayune senior Trenton Lee took the mound with two outs and runners on first and second, facing a hot Lockey awaiting Lee’s first pitches of the day. After getting behind on a 2-1 count, Lee finished the Bearcat with two fastballs over the plate to strikeout Lockey and keep the Tide in the game.

“We knew what we had to do late in the game and we knew how to do it. This group of guys has been here before,” Lee said.

In the seventh inning, Long Beach held its 2-0 lead, and in the top of the inning, they began running away with it, connecting on back-to-back-to-back RBIs from Kai Vancourt, Clayton Maxwell and then Lockey to force Picayune into a do or die scenario trailing by five runs.

Then, Long Beach’s Scotty Spears took the mound to save the Bearcats from a late Tide rally, forcing two ground outs and striking out the last Picayune batter to advance Long Beach into the second round of the playoffs against Brookhaven.

“Hats off to Long Beach. They played well,” Stogner said. “I am very proud of my group of guys and what they did this year. Now we know that we don’t want to have this feeling again, so I am excited to see what we can do going forward.”

The Maroon Tide might have had a small senior class this year, but Stogner said the legacy they had on this program will stay with Picayune for years to come.

“Trent and Tyler are great leaders. They immediately bought into what I was preaching from day one and I couldn’t ask for a better duo of warriors,” Stogner said, who just finished his first season with the Tide.

“Even though it was his first year with us, Coach is just that type of person that you want to win games for. He brought a mentality to the team that we needed,” Lee said. “No one believed in us at the beginning and we proved them wrong. I’m glad I got the opportunity to play under him and with this great group of guys.”

Lee is the last of his siblings to lead Picayune, and will be following his brother Peyton Lee’s footsteps by signing to play at Pearl River Community College. Over the course of his senior year, Trenton Lee batted a .444 average, was responsible for 11 runs with 36 hits and 26 RBIs with seven extra-base hits, including a single home run. Lee was effective twofold, known for his ferocious fastball which helped him finish the season with three saves and 42 strikeouts.

Fellow senior Fletcher led the Tide on the mound, finishing his senior campaign 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA and a .800 win loss percentage along with 41 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings. Fletcher will be joining Lee at the next level at PRCC.