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Poplarville baseball falls in district game to Greene County

Poplarville’s Hornets took on the Greene County Wildcats in a tight matchup Tuesday evening that saw Greene County come away with a 5-4 victory.

Jordan Belsome went six innings and struck out 11 batters, but the Wildcats were still able to pull out the win. Eli Goodwin went 2-3 with an RBI and Nate Anderson went 2-3 with a double to drive the Hornets’ offense.

Poplarville was making contact all game, but weren’t picking their spots well enough to evade Greene County’s defense.

“We hit some balls hard, but defensively they made some plays that took some runs off the board for us. We hit a lot of balls right at people. We played well enough to win, we just didn’t get some balls to fall for us,” Head Coach Slade Jones said.

The Hornets have seen numerous players suffer injuries this season, testing the team’s depth.

Now several youngsters who haven’t played much varsity ball are being thrown into the fire as Poplarville goes through its difficult district schedule.

“We’re not trying to hide anything from them. Physically they’re ready, mentally they’re not, but the only thing to do to prepare them is to get them in that situation again,” Jones said.

Seeing as there’s an ongoing youth movement within the squad, more responsibility is being put on the team’s veterans.

There aren’t many Poplarville players who hold vast amounts of experience because of the cancellation of last year’s season due to COVID-19, but it’s up to the vets to carry the load as the inexperienced players hurriedly try to find their feet.

“They’re well aware that they have to shoulder the burden of injuries and they’re good enough players that they can do that. We’re not making excuses. We have to find ways to get things done,” Jones said.

Poplarville will be looking to get more creative and gritty offensively as the team heads into its final district games.

Jones said his team has to be willing to score in unconventional, selfless ways.

Considering the inexperience now spread throughout the lineup, it’s even more important the Hornets buckle down and find their sweet spot at the plate.

“We have to be able to manufacture runs. We have to have the identity to create runs out of nothing. We have a saying here of, ‘Don’t touch the money.’ If we start trying to pull home runs we’ll find ourselves in a problem and just be hitting it at people. We have to be who we are and we can’t be dictated by who is on the mound,” Jones said.