Maroon Tide baseball prepares for a new season

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Picayune Memorial High School baseball team is gearing up for the beginning of a new season.

Last year, the Maroon Tide saw its season come to an end after a 2-0 series defeat against Long Beach High School in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Head Coach Cody Stogner said many of the returning players worked hard during the off-season so he expects the team to be in the run for another try at the state playoffs.

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“We have a good amount of depth in our roster and it’s going to be a competition within ourselves to see who will be the best nine players out on the field,” Stogner said.

This year, the team will consist of 28 players, with eight of them being seniors. The seniors on this year’s team include, Elisha Hickman, Peyton Esslinger, Tyler Penton, Garrett Sauls, Shaun Anderson, Jacob Brumley, Caleb Burnette and Dylan Ramsay.

“We’re expecting a lot out of seniors this year but we also have juniors and sophomores that can contribute and earn a lot of playing time,” Stogner said.

In the team’s district matchups, Picayune will face Hattiesburg High School, North Pike High School and region-rival and current Class 5A state champion Pearl River Central High School.

The matchups against the Blue Devils will take place on March 27, March 30 and April 10, with two of those games taking place at Kent Kirkland Field.

“We have really high expectations for them this year, as they do within themselves, and we’re going to try and put them in the best situation possible in order to win,” Stogner said.

The team will host a Meet the Tide event on Feb. 10, where friends and family can meet the players and also watch a scrimmage between the varsity team. Picayune will play its first game of the season against Poplarville on Feb. 23, at the Pearl River County Classic at the Pearl River Central High School baseball field. The game will begin at 5 p.m.

“We’re expecting big things this year and I hope the kids are as well. Our goal is to build back that rich tradition of Picayune baseball and last year, we started to get back on track,” Stogner said.