Picayune falls against Gulfport in non-region action

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 6, 2018

PICAYUNE — In a hard-fought defensive battle, Gulfport defeated Picayune 2-0 Friday night, handing the team its first loss of the season.

During the top of the fourth inning, Gulfport’s Kaleel Davison came in as a pinch runner and replaced Gabe Lacy at first base. Then the next batter, Blake Johnson, hit the ball deep into left field. During the play, Davison attempted to score from first base but a well-thrown ball from left field to home plate by Picayune’s Tyler Penton allowed the catcher, Kade Turnage, to tag Davison out at home plate and keep the score at zero for both teams. 

The tie didn’t last long. One batter later, Johnson scored the first run of the game after a hit by Dylan Ladner.

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In the top of the sixth inning, Davison scored the second run of the game for Gulfport (7-0) after Ladner batted the ball into center field.

During the bottom of the sixth inning, the Maroon Tide (4-1) failed to score when two strikeouts and a ground out brought the inning to an end. In the next inning, Picayune’s Caleb Burnette struck out while at-bat and the next batter, Kyler Lauga, reached first base after Gulfport’s first and second baseman failed to tag him out. The next two batters, Logan Ledet and Shaun Anderson, were tagged out while trying to reach first base, which brought the game to an end.

“We couldn’t catch a break today but at the same time, we have to come up with our own breaks. We had runners in scoring positions early in the game but we just couldn’t bring them home,” Picayune Head Baseball Coach Cody Stogner said.

The first three innings of the game were a defensive battle for both teams as Gulfport only had one hit and Picayune had four. Both teams combined for 10 strikeouts.

For Picayune, Elisha Hickman was 1-for-2 and Chad Stockstill, Penton, Burnette and Lauga each batted 1-for-3.

On the mound, Hickman pitched for 5 1/3 innings and struck out seven batters. Luke Smith, whom allowed three hits and struck out three batters, replaced Hickman on the mound towards the end of the game.

The Maroon Tide will host Bay High Tuesday at Kent Kirkland field at 7 p.m.

“We hit the ball hard but unfortunately, we hit it right at them,” Stogner said. “Despite the loss, we just went toe-to-toe with a Class 6A powerhouse and our guys played hard the entire game and they never got down. We’ll find out during Monday’s practice what kind of team we are after a loss.”