IAHS baseball drops tough contests to Tupelo, Saltillo

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Editor

TUPELO – Nobody on the Itawamba AHS baseball roster or coaching staff is necessarily

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS senior catcher Hunter White drives a base hit in the Indians' season-opener against Tupelo.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS senior catcher Hunter White drives a base hit in the Indians’ season-opener against Tupelo.

thrilled about their 0-2 start last weekend, but there was definitely a silver lining to be seen afterwards.
The Indians dropped a pair of games in the Tupelo Classic to perennial 6A powerhouse Tupelo and 5A power Saltillo, but had chances to win both games.
“We’re not excited about being 0-2, but there’s a lot of positives to be taken,” said first-year IAHS head coach Steve Kerr.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end of each game and a lot of players got some much-needed work in. I think we’re gonna be just fine.”
In Friday night’s opener, IAHS’s offense was stymied by Tupelo left-hander Jason Garrett.
The senior lefty didn’t need much anything other than his 86-88 MPH fastball, as he struck out 13 Indian hitters in just five innings of work. Every IAHS out, through four innings, came via the strikeout.
IAHS starter Brody Catt didn’t have a terrible outing, but Tupelo managed to string together a couple of hits to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first.
After getting two quick outs, Catt gave up a single and a walk before Tucker Whitenton lined a double into left-center to plate a pair of runs.
Whitenton would again be the catalyst for Tupelo’s other run when he led off the fourth inning with another double and later scored on a passed ball.
IAHS got on the board in the top of the fifth when Hunter White singled and later scored when Catt reached on an error.
Down 3-1 in the top of the seventh, Caleb Whittle and Catt hit back-to-back two out singles and then reached second and third base on a wild pitch, putting the tying run at second base.
Klay Houston lined a missile but it was right at Garrett, who had taken over at first base, to save the 3-1 win for the Golden Wave.

Saltillo 5, IAHS 4 – 9 innings
In Saturday’s game against Saltillo, Kerr opted to use several pitchers including basketball players who recently joined the team following the conclusion of their season.
Vijay Miller, who posted an 8-1 record and a 1.58 ERA last season, started and pitched two innings, giving up one unearned run on an error, and struck out three hitters.
Austin King, Lane Domino, Braxton Carroll and Russell Bunch all got work, as well as rotation starter Klay Houston.
IAHS trailed 4-2 heading into the seventh inning when White and Whittle both singled to lead off the inning, then Catt drew a walk.
Houston lined a shot into right field, but it was deep enough to score White and advance Whittle to third base.
Bunch would walk to re-load the bases and Domino would hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice to score Whittle and tie the game.
Houston would record three consecutive strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, but Saltillo would ultimately walk away victorious, 5-4, when Bunch issued a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning.
“Those are two really good teams,” Kerr said. “We’re never pleased with losing but we’re pleased with how we competed.”

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

Graduate of THE University of Mississippi. #HottyToddy. I like sports. And BBQ.

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