By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – They may not be the most talented American Legion team in the area, but they can certainly play up to the level of their opposition.
The Corinth Post No. 6 team proved that last year in the state tournament and proved it once more on Wednesday night.
To just about everyone’s surprise – except for maybe themselves – a young Corinth squad advanced to the championship round of the 2010 state tournament at Pontotoc. On Wednesday night, they finally avenged last year’s 14-3 championship game loss to the Pontotoc Red Sox.
Corinth defeated the Sox 9-8 at home to end a five-game losing streak to the 2010 state champion that began during a winners’ bracket game of last summer’s state tournament and continued through the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. The Sox beat Corinth 4-3 in Game 1 of the twinbill – the second time this season that they had beaten Corinth by a single run.
“We didn’t give up,” said Corinth skipper Dale Bain, whose 7-9 team handed Pontotoc its first loss in 17 games this year. “Our guys kept battling. We played a great first game and I think that kind of carried over to the second game.
“The boys stepped up and got some clutch hits. We just put it all together.”
Corinth will look to ride that momentum into the Tupelo 49ers Invitational this weekend, where it will face some stiff competition. This afternoon, at Tupelo’s Golden Wave Field, Corinth will face off against the Itawamba Cardinals, a team it outslugged 19-18 in the 2010 state tournament.
The Corinth Post 6 team will play the South Stars team, which is coached by former major leaguer Chad Bradford, at 10 Saturday morning before turning around and playing last year’s 49ers Invitational runner-up, Florence, Ala., in the early afternoon.
And Corinth could very well face another talented club in the North Stars or an always powerful Tupelo 49ers team on “Championship Sunday.”
The North Stars, which Tupelo Christian Prep coach Will Lowrey helped assemble, is coached by Blue Mountain College player Seth Kennedy.
Two of the best TCPS players, Drew Carter and Stephen Sexton, are playing for Kennedy this summer.
• Invitational schedule, Page 2B