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Poplarville baseball pitches shutout

The Poplarville Hornets baseball team took on the Resurrection Catholic Eagles on March 3 and won 4-0.

The shutout victory brought the Hornets back to .500 on the season with a record of 3-3.

Poplarville’s victory came after a hard loss to the Hancock Hawks a few days earlier that went nine innings before the Hawks pulled out the 9-8 victory.

Getting a win against the Eagles was a positive turnaround for the Hornets and served as an example of the talented teams Poplarville will have to face later in the season.

Head Coach Slade Jones said the game against Resurrection Catholic felt like a district game due to its intensity.

“This one right here, every pitch was important. (It) was the first baseball game where it (felt like) what it will be like in district, it just felt that way,” Jones said.

Jones said the team was able to get multiple two out hits to put runs on the board by taking advantage of runners in scoring positions.

Senior Brady Tynes has played a prominent part in the Hornets offense, going one for three against the Eagles while having a batting average of .414 on the year.

Jones said players like Tynes and Blaise Breerwood are game wreckers that opponents have to be wary of when facing Poplarville.

“People don’t let (Tynes) or Breerwood beat them. They both make the guys in front and behind them in the lineup better,” Jones said.

The team is learning how to play while dealing with heightened expectations after going 21-9 last season.

Jones has preached to his team the importance of being able to handle the outside noise and still perform well.

The game against the Eagles started a three game home stand for the Hornets, but winning games away from home is what will make the difference for Poplarville.

Jones said being able to handle each team’s best effort and play well away from home will lead to more success, especially once district play comes around.

“Every time we go out we’re not only going to get the other team’s best punch, but we also have to go into hostile environments. It makes us stronger,” Jones said.

The matchups provide Poplarville with a way to be tested in a meaningful manner. Going up against good competition will better prepare Poplarville for district opponents and the Hornets have another good test coming up with a game against the Meridian Wildcats.

The game is set to start at 5 p.m. on March 6 and will be immediately followed by a game against Bay High, which is set to start at 7 p.m.

The two games will be played at Pearl River Community College, which will give the Hornets some home field advantage.

This season Poplarville has been decent both at home and away.

However, it’s the home games Jones said the team needs to take advantage of.

Any edge a team can get can be the difference between a loss and a win, so Jones is making sure his players understand the importance of winning in front of a supportive crowd.

“In district you have to try to win all of them, but you better get one at home. I would like to think that people don’t really want to come here and play,” Jones said.