by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

The Bearcats finished the regular season right on Tuesday night at the Mike Rutledge Field in Long Beach with a 6-1 victory over district rival Picayune.  Long Beach (11-12, 5-3) celebrated senior night ending their season and preparing for the MHSAA 5A first round playoff matchup on Friday.

“Early our offense was really good and we have to continue to go forward offensively, but I thought defensively we played well and a lot of players got a chance to throw in the game before the playoffs,” said Long Beach Head Baseball Coach Garrett LaRosa.  “I was very happy with the pitching tonight and a lot of these players will come out of the bullpen for us in the playoffs, so this was a very realistic situation for us.”

After the Long Beach Senior starting pitcher Brent Garner mowed down the first three batters, Bearcats outfielder Ashton Schepens hit a line drive double in the bottom of the first inning to bring home Amiri Williams and Collin Dedeaux for an early 2-0 lead.

Following the double, the Bearcats catcher Hunter Blackwell knocked in Schepens with a line drive single, Long Beach senior first baseman Adam Krol hitting a sacrifice fly and Jake Thomas bringing home the final run of the inning with a fielder’s choice.  This built an early 5-0 lead in favor of Long Beach.

Both teams were not getting past first base until the third inning where the Bearcats brought their final run home, as Dedeaux brought in Long Beach outfielder Charlie Starita to build the cushion to 6-0.

Despite allowing only one run from the Picayune Maroon Tide, the Long Beach Bearcats gave up a mere 4 hits, no walks, and finished with 6 strikeouts.

Dedeaux, Blackwell, and Garner had multiple hits while Schepens knocked in two runs and was on base every time for Long Beach.

A double header is scheduled at the Mike Rutledge Field Friday night in Long Beach.  More information will follow.