By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The most important thing that happened to the Tupelo Golden Wave Friday – they got through the night still having no loses in Division 2-6A.
And just as a bonus, pitcher Ben Hudspeth was pretty darn perfect. The Tupelo senior hurler baffled the Yellowjackets with a 12-strikeout no-hitter in a 4-0 win.
“That was an excellent job by Hudspeth, working ahead of hitters,” said Tupelo coach Gary Enis, whose team beat Starkville Tuesday 8-5. “He’s getting stronger as the year goes on, that was an excellent job tonight.”
Starkville (4-8, 0-4) did not get a runner on base against Hudspeth (5-1) until the fourth inning on an error. Then in the fifth, a ball up the middle bounced off a Tupelo fielder for the Wave’s second error of the contest.
Hudspeth hit Starkville’s leadoff batter in the top of the seventh, but he settled down, striking out the last two batters to record the complete game.
“A key was our inability to do anything offensively,” Starkville coach Danny Carlisle said. “Their kid threw a great game.”
“This was one of those close-but-no-cigar deals for us.”
While Hudspeth was keeping the Yellowjackets’ offense in check, Starkville starter Garrett Batson kept the Wave (15-1, 4-0) bats off balance most of the night as well.
William Goss led off with a double in the first for Tupelo, followed by a single by Dylan Vuncannon. But it took Blake McCullough being hit by a pitch to plate the Wave’s first run.
Tupelo loaded the bases again in the fourth on just one hit. But Batson pitched out of that.
Again in the fifth inning, Tupelo loaded the bases on just one hit, this time pushing a run across on a walk by Grant Spencer. Then Goss came through with the only clutch hit of the night by Tupelo with his second double, scoring two.
“Their guy kept us off balance, and it took us a while to get to him,” Enis said. “Just proud to get a division win.”
Tupelo is in action today in Fulton against Itawamba AHS. Next week, the Wave completes its first tour through division play with a pair against Columbus, on the road Tuesday and at home Friday.