Clayton leads Wave to semifinal

golden_wave_tupelo_boys_varsity_baseball_spring_12-13Daily Journal reports

COLUMBUS – Tupelo punched its ticket to the MHSAA Class 6A baseball state semifinals Saturday with a quarterfinal series sweep of Columbus.

The Golden Wave defeated the Falcons 3-1 in Game 2 of their best-of-three series.

Tupelo (24-8) beat Columbus 7-6 on Friday in Game 1 at Golden Wave Field.

“It was a good series and we’re happy to advance,” Wave coach Gary Enis said. “I’m proud of the way our guys competed.”

The Golden Wave’s opponent in the semifinals will be the winner of the quarterfinal series between Northwest Rankin and DeSoto Central. Northwest Rankin held a 1-0 series lead headed into Game 2, which had a weather-delayed start Saturday.

“You get this far you can’t be content,” Enis said. “We just have to keep practicing and getting better.”

Tupelo won its division and drew an opening-round bye, then swept Madison Central in the second round.

If Northwest Rankin is the opponent, Tupelo would host Thursday’s opener. The series would return to Tupelo Saturday for a Game 3, if needed. If DeSoto Central is the opponent, it would host Thursday’s opener and the if-needed Game 3 on Saturday.

Clayton’s day

Carter Clayton (8-1) was the winning pitcher and paced Tupelo at the plate with three hits. Chase Cernigliaro, who had a key hit in Friday’s win, added two hits Saturday.

Tupelo took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a single by Clayton and a fielder’s choice grounder by Ty Wheeler. Clayton added an RBI single in the second to make it 2-0.

The Wave’s final run came on a throwing error by the catcher in the fifth after a called third strike. On the play, pinch runner Garrett Hill scored from first base.