By David Wheeler/Special to NEMS Daily Journal
Gary Enis might be handing out running shoes to his Tupelo Golden Wave this week.
Or at least it might seem like it as the Wave prepare for what might be considered a marathon baseball schedule this week. The slate has Tupelo playing seven games in six days, beginning today with a rescheduled 6 p.m. contest at Southaven.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge for us,” said Enis, whose Wave are currently on a season-best three-game win streak. “Of course we’ll want to play good in all the games, but our main focus will be Tuesday and Thursday.
Enis is referring to the race within the marathon as the Wave look to get back into the middle of the Division 2-6A race, hosting Columbus at 6 p.m. Tuesday, then on the road Thursday for a 6 p.m. contest at Columbus.
After a rocky beginning to its division schedule, losing three in-a-row, Tupelo (8-7, 1-3) bounced back Friday with a 6-3 road victory over Grenada. Senior leadership played a key role in the turnaround win as Ben Aldridge hurled a complete game, and Brayden Owen sparked the offense with a home run.
“Aldridge gave us a spark on the mound, and Owen gave us a huge spark,” said Enis, whose club kept its offensive spark going by scoring 30 runs in two games Saturday. “I think some other guys took note and had some hits after that.”
While Tupelo’s division mark still has them in last place, the standings really tightened up with Columbus sweeping South Panola last week. That put Grenada at 3-1, with South Panola and Columbus at 2-2 each.
“Columbus beating South Panola really helped us out,” Enis said. “We really need to play well and focus against Columbus to have a shot at the playoffs.
“That’s how important this week is.”
Owen (1-1) is slated to start Tuesday, with Aldridge (2-2, 2.68 ERA) setting up for Thursday. Owen’s offensive surge this week has the senior now leading the team with a .422 average.
To round out the marathon week, Tupelo will host Starkville at noon and Houston at 6 p.m. Friday; then play at 1 p.m. at Itawamba AHS and host New Albany at 6 p.m. Saturday.