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Picayune baseball sending four athletes to the next level

Playing at the college level is a dream some high school athletes aspire to achieve, but never reach.

It’s a hard road to garner the attention of college scouts and even harder to be found worthy of earning a scholarship.

However, for the Picayune baseball program four athletes worked their way to that milestone and on Nov. 5 signed with the college programs of their choosing.

Kade Turnage signed with East Central Community College, Logan Ledet with Pearl River Community College, while Luke Smith and Chad Stockstill both signed with Mississippi Delta Community College.

Turnage is the team’s catcher and last year posted a .326 batting average, had five doubles, three homeruns, 15 RBIs, a .990 fielding percentage, threw out 50 percent of base stealers, was named All District and made 2nd Team All-State.

Ledet is a right-handed pitcher who last year had a 6-2 record, a 2.49 ERA, pitched 59 innings, had 83 strikeouts which was third best in Class 5A, was named All District and made 1st Team All-State.

Smith is a right-handed pitcher who had a 5-3 record last year, had a 2.54 ERA, pitched 52 1/3 innings, had 62 strikeouts and was named All District.

Stockstill is the team’s first baseman and last year had a .306 batting average, six doubles, three homeruns, 20 RBIs and a .965 fielding average.

Head Coach Cody Stogner said this is the biggest signing class his program has had in the early signing period for as long as he can remember and these four athletes have earned the right to play in the next level.

“They’re good players, they’ve earned everything they’re getting. It’s not so much as what we’ve done for them, but what they’ve done for our program,” Stogner said. Stogner said it’s the work ethic of those four players that allowed them to be so successful and fulfill their dreams of playing for a college team.

Stogner said there’s a possibility even more athletes from the program will end up signing later in the year.

Stogner said having so many players sign will motivate the younger athletes coming through the program and the veterans who may be looking for scholarship opportunities. “Your performance will get you to the next level, but it helps when you win. These guys are doing a good job of buying into that, and I’m just super proud of what they’ve accomplished,” Stogner said.