• 84°

Poplarville baseball now up to a six game winning streak

The Poplarville Hornets baseball team took on the Pope John Paul II Jaguars March 9 and won 10-5.

It was the sixth consecutive victory for the Hornets and brought the team’s overall record to 8-3.

The defeat of the Jaguars came just two days after winning a double header against McComb 17-7 and 6-5.

Junior Jordan Belsome got the start on the mound for the Hornets and also went three for three at the plate with an RBI.

Head Coach Slade Jones said his team has improved steadily in the batter’s box since the start of the season.

Jones said his team is finding its identity at the plate and finding ways to score runs.

Blaise Breerwood went two for four with an RBI, while Brady Tynes went two for three with an RBI as well to lead the Hornets offensively against the Jaguars.

Defensively the Hornets haven’t been as stout, which is something the team will want to get cleaned up.

“There are some areas of concern defensively, specifically in the outfield. I don’t know if it has to do with the weather or wind, but we’re having problems communicating on fly balls in the outfield,” Jones said.

There were some early season struggles for the Hornets as the team started 2-3.

However, since the team’s last loss against Hancock on Feb. 29, Poplarville has rattled off six straight wins and have left the early season struggles behind.

Jones said a big part of the team’s improvement goes back to the players understanding what the team is about and what it takes to win.

“We just place an emphasis on what we do. Getting quality at bats, getting guys on base and pounding the zone with strikes,” Jones said.

The six game win streak is nice to have, but district play is right around the corner and those are the games that matter.

Jones has purposefully had his team go up against some solid competition to try and replicate the level of talent the Hornets will have to deal with when district starts.

“All this is really preparation for these upcoming weeks here in district. There will be a good team in our district that’ll be at home (for the playoffs). There’s no margin for error,” Jones said.

Poplarville will take part in a weekend tournament as a final warm up before facing Forrest County for the team’s first district game.

The Hornets won both matchups between the two teams last year and will look to replicate those results when the squads face off at 7 p.m. on March 17.

Programs in the region know how talented Poplarville is, so Jones is making sure his players are ready for whatever opposing teams throw at them.

“We know going in we’re going to see everybody’s best look, They’re doing a much better job of dealing with expectations (because now) they’re expected to go out there and win,” Jones said.