By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Gary Enis got more than he expected from pitcher J.D. Roberts in Saturday’s game against visiting Itawamba AHS.
Roberts, a junior left-hander, pitched a complete game in the Golden Wave’s 8-2 victory. He scattered four hits, struck out five and walked four.
“That’s just what we needed, a complete game,” Enis said. “We needed him to eat some innings up, especially with an important week coming up for us.”
Tupelo (11-6) plays two Division 2-6A games this week against Columbus. Tuesday’s game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at THS while the 6 p.m. Friday matchup is in Columbus.
The Golden Wave is 3-1 in division play after its split last week against Starkville. Tupelo won 8-3 in Starkville on Thursday after falling 2-0 at home in nine innings Tuesday.
“That was very big, especially after a tough defeat on Tuesday,” Enis said of his team’s win against the Yellowjackets. “I didn’t know how we’d respond. That says a lot about our team.”
Roberts didn’t surrender a hit until the third inning when Indians catcher Bryson Smith doubled. He ran into some trouble in the sixth following back-to-back one-out singles by Dillon Mitchell and Maikhail Miller, but escaped the frame with a fly out and a force out.
IAHS (8-9) scored its two runs in the fourth, one on a throwing error by Wave catcher Ben Hudspeth.
Tupelo took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on base hits by Dylan Vuncannon, Drew Alford, Kirk Roberts, Collin Dexter and Roberts. Vuncannon’s slap to right field plated two of those.
Alford belted a lead-off homer in the third to give the Golden Wave a 4-0 lead. He reached on a fielder’s choice in the fourth and scored from third on a wild pitch.
Tupelo added a run in the fifth on Dexter’s solo homer and its final score in the sixth on single by Connor Carothers, who late came home on an error.