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Picayune baseball starts season on a roll

The baseball team for the Picayune Maroon Tide is now 2-0 after beating Pass Christian 13-0 on Feb. 21 and Hancock 3-2 on Feb. 22.

The season is long and neither of the games were against district opponents, but nonetheless Head Coach Evan Nichelson said he was happy with his team’s performances during the first two games.

“It’s always good to get off to a good start. I thought we came out and pitched really well, ran the bases really well. We took advantage of the other teams’ mistakes,” Nichelson said.

The wins are a good way for the Maroon Tide to start the season, but no performance is perfect.

Nichelson said his team would need to do a better job of taking advantage of runners in scoring positions as the season progresses as runs become harder to come by. The matchups with Pass Christian and Hancock weren’t the first time the Maroon Tide saw competitive action.

However, they were the first games that would count towards Picayune’s official record.

Nichelson said the team’s participation in a jamboree prior to the start of the season helped the players prepare mentally for the first games of the year.

The jamboree games helped alleviate first game nerves while playing over the past weekend, along with the fact that Picayune started eight seniors and a junior.

Now the Maroon Tide will get ready for a game against the Ocean Springs Greyhounds on Feb. 25.

Ocean Springs is currently 2-0 after defeating East Central twice to start the season.

Nichelson said the Greyhounds have an established rotation, which means whatever pitcher the Maroon Tide faces will be a talented one.

It’s important to have a game plan when going up to bat against a talented pitcher and Nichelson said he’d talk to his team about being competitive at the plate.

“This weekend we did a good job, but we still gave bats away. We’ll talk about being locked in and being a tough out for the arms we face,” Nichelson said.

It’ll be the first game away from home for the Maroon Tide after having a two game home stand to start the season. Nichelson said Pearl River Community College commit Logan Ledet is expected to take the mound against the Greyhounds.

Ledet is coming off a season that saw him have a 2.49 ERA and 83 strikeouts, so the senior will be looking to replicate that kind of form when the lights come on Tuesday night.

It’s still early in the season, but Nichelson said he expects his team to work hard and continue building off the two wins last week.

“My expectations are to go down and compete well. I think (Ledet is) going to pitch a good game and keep us in the game. If we play our game we’ll be fine,” Nichelson said.