Tide bounces back behind Lee’s 10 Ks against PRC

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 4, 2017

PICAYUNE — After Pearl River Central came back to beat Picayune during Tuesday’s close game, scoring four unanswered runs to overcome the Tide in extra innings, Picayune Head Coach Cody Stogner said his team was ready for another shot at the district leaders. In the second rivalry bout Friday night, Tide pitcher Trenton Lee struck out 10 of the 18 batters he faced, helping his team beat the Blue Devils, 4-1.

“That’s what we’ve been expecting him to do all year. We have seen spurts of that throughout the season, and knew he had it in him. He has a great understanding of the game and rose up to the occasion,” Stogner said.

Lee was also efficient at the plate, tacking a double in his first at bat, which later resulted in the first run on Friday after teammate JuVonta Raymond drove in two runs with a double to the fence. One inning later, Tide’s Tyler Penton hit a sacrifice fly for an RBI, allowing Jeremiah Stallings to work his way around the bases to give Picayune a 3-0 advantage.

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After going hitless on Tuesday, Blue Devils’ Hayden Dunhurst nailed a double in the top of the third inning to set up the next Devil batter, Austen Izzio.

Izzio, who hit a double in Tuesday’s game against Picayune, hit a ball deep into the outfield, giving Dunhurst enough time to round third and notch the Devils’ first run of the night. While Izzio was making his way to second, he caught a glimpse of an error committed by the Tide outfield, which opened up an opportunity to turn his double into a triple. However, Tide centerfielder Shaun Anderson sent the ball soaring to third, beating Izzio to the plate for the first out.

Lee then took over, striking out seven of the next eight batters to dampen the Blue Devils’ chances at another comeback, winning 4-1.

“This win puts us in a better place to make the playoffs. We control our destiny now,” Stogner said, emphasizing the importance of this week’s matchups against Stone County and Hattiesburg.

Caleb Burnette, Penton, Anderson and Lee all tallied a hit for Picayune while teammate Raymond notched two hits and two RBIs against PRC. Burnette and Penton each had an RBI also.

Blue Devils’ Cade Lee, Dunhurst, Izzio and Caleb Tynes all made hits Friday night.

Over the weekend, both teams challenged non-district foes, which did not end well for either team.

On Saturday, Harrison Central swept PRC in a doubleheader, 4-2 and 5-2.

“We haven’t been hitting very well and it carried over into Saturday,” PRC Head Coach Neil Walther said.

Also on Saturday, the Maroon Tide lost 13-3 against Hancock.

“It didn’t seem like we were mentally ready to play on Saturday and a lot of bad things can happen if you come into any game like that,” Stogner said.

Picayune heads back to district play on Tuesday at home against Stone County at 7 p.m. After that, the team will host Hattiesburg on Friday at 7 p.m.

PRC will continue its six-game tour of away games on Tuesday against Hattiesburg in a clash of the top teams in the district at 7 p.m. On Friday, the team will travel to Stone County to play at 7 p.m.