Picayune and Pearl River Central to play for district title on Tuesday
Picayune 8 Hattiesburg 6
Hattiesburg jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but Picayune fought back behind strong relief pitching from Trey Wells to beat the Tigers 8-6 and secure at least a second seed for the playoffs.
A win on Tuesday at Pearl River Central would give the Maroon Tide the district title and the top seed for the playoffs.
Submitted photo by Hayley Wells
Trey Wells (pictured in his windup) came in to pitch with one out in the fourth with runners on base and was able to get out of the inning giving up just one run.
Picayune started chipping away in the bottom of the fourth.
Kade Turnage hit a solo home run to left center to start the frame. Juvonte Raymond plated a run with a two-out RBI single to left field to make it 5-2.
Wells retired Hattiesburg in order in the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, Picayune used six walks and a two out single by Raymond that pushed across two runs to give the Maroon Tide the lead at 6-5.
Hattiesburg got a run in the top of the sixth to tie the game.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kyler Lauga walked and Chad Dudenhefer laid down a perfect bunt single and Lauga moved to 3rd on a Tiger error on the play. Turnage beat out an infield single to load the bases with no outs. Chad “The Cobra” Stockstill was hit by a pitch to give the Tide a 7-6 lead. One out later, Blake Mitchell grounded out to the third baseman to push across another run to make it 8-6.
Wells retired the Tigers in order in the top of the seventh with a fly out to shortstop and then closed out the win with back to back strikeouts.
Trey Wells and Juvonte Raymond led the Maroon Tide vs H'burg
Head Coach Stogner was extremely proud of how his team responded after being down early.
“I told them that Hattiesburg was punching us in the mouth and we had to punch back. Once we scored those two runs and started to fight back, we were the ones throwing punches instead of taking the punches and our guys started to believe. They just kept giving a little more and I kept asking for a little more and a little more and they responded,” Stogner said.
Stogner was quick to point out his admiration of Wells’ relief pitching.
“Trey’s performance was remarkable. He was awesome and did everything I expected him to do. The guys played really well behind him,” Stogner stated.
Stogner reflected on his team’s slow start, but never give up attitude.
“We were down 1-3 (record) in district play and it didn’t look good. But these guys overcame a lot of adversity to get to this point. I’m really short on words right now because I’m so proud of them for their resilience in some amazingly tough situations,” Stogner explained with emotion in his voice.
Picayune (11-8, 5-3) will play at Pearl River Central (16-7, 6-2) on Tuesday for the district title.
North Pike 9 Pearl River Central 6
The Blue Devils lost 9-6 on the road at North Pike. The Jaguars sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth inning and scored 6 runs with two outs.