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Picayune baseball splits doubleheader

Picayune’s Maroon Tide baseball team played D’Iberville in a two game series Feb. 29 with Picayune losing the first game 3-2, but winning the second matchup 6-1.

The 3-2 result was Picayune’s first loss of the season, putting Picayune at 5-1 on the season.

Head Coach Evan Nichelson said getting the win was a nice way to bounce back after dropping the first game.

“We came out and started going through the motions a little bit, it took a little while to get going. We pitched it well, but left too many guys on base so we’re trying to get that straight,” Nichelson said.

Losing the first game could’ve affected the Maroon Tide’s mindset heading into the second game.

However, the team’s leadership and experience in having 10 seniors on the squad allowed Picayune to put the first game behind them and earn the win in the second game.

“That’s what you want out of a mature team. We were able to come out and respond after that first loss,” Nichelson said.

He said an issue that hurt Picayune during both games was not taking advantage of runners in scoring positions.

In the first game the Maroon Tide only gave up three hits, but left 10 players on base.

Picayune will have to do a better job of getting runners across home plate when district play rolls around because runs will be at a premium.

“It’s hard to win leaving that many on base, but we came out for the second game and responded well,” Nichelson said.

Sophomore Dawson Underwood got the win against D’Iberville and carried on the team’s theme of good pitching this season.

The defense behind Underwood made the necessary plays in the second game to earn a victory and Nichelson said good defense has been a staple of the team all year.

“Honestly it’s been the way we’ve been winning games, is with pitching and playing defense,” Nichelson said.

At the plate Picayune was patient, especially in the second game when the Maroon Tide racked up five walks.

Having patience in the batter’s box is key, but Nichelson said it can be a double edged sword at times.

“The patience is helping us, but also hurting us. Sometimes we’re taking the pitch we should be driving,” Nichelson said.

The players are experienced enough to know not to give away at-bats.

Being a tough out is important and it forces the opposing defense to make a play.

Picayune’s defense has been steady all season and will look to continue to do so when the Maroon Tide take on the Pass Christian Pirates March 3 at 7 p.m.

The Maroon Tide have played six games so far this season and only have eight combined errors.

Nichelson said an emphasis in practice prior to the Pass Christian game would be improving defensive positioning.

“We had a couple defensive miscues as far as where to be in certain spots in certain situations, so we cleaned that up,” Nichelson said.

Pass Christian will be looking for its first win of the season when the two teams meet.

The matchup will be Picayune’s fifth straight game on the road, so Nichelson hopes his team comes out with the right amount of intensity against the Pirates.

“I expect them to come out and meet (Pass Christian) with energy. If we come out, fly around and make the routine plays I think we’ll be fine,” Nichelson said.

The game against the Pirates is set to start at 7 p.m.