COLUMBUS STUNS GOLDEN WAVE WITH 3-2 DIVISION 1-5A SETBACK
By Todd Vinyard
COLUMBUS Execution, not excuses, was what Tupelo’s Golden Wave was looking for after a 3-2 loss Thursday to Division 1-5A foe Columbus.
A catcher interference call in the seventh inning killed any comeback hopes. Tupelo coach Larry Harmon was ejected after arguing the call.
“It wasn’t interference, but we should have never let it get to that point,” said Harmon, whose team fell to 14-6 overall, and 2-1 in the division. “We just didn’t execute at all.”
Columbus coach Tommy Upton said he felt his Falcons, now 5-16 overall and 1-2 in division play, caught Tupelo at the right time.
“We are not a better team than Tupelo, but they were coming off a big win over Starkville so they may not have been concentrating on us,” Upton said.
Columbus freshman pitcher Jay Blackburn caused some of Tupelo’s lack of concentration. He held the Golden Wave to seven hits going the distance with five strikeouts.
“Jay just has great location,” Upton said. “He hasn’t been able to finish many games this year, but he got the job done tonight. We have five wins and he has two.”
Tupelo pitcher Chad Iverson settled down after a shaky start. Columbus loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs. Mike Malott scored on a fielder’s choice to put Columbus up 1-0.
The Golden Wave tied the game 1-1 in the second inning with a Rudy Strahan single to bring in Duncan Foster. Tupelo took a 2-1 lead four batters later when Jason Miller singled to score Billy Curry.
Columbus came back with two runs in the third on one hit and two errors. Falcon pinch runner Eric Crowley scored after a Jason Montgomery double. Then Montgomery scored the winning run all the way from second after a Tupelo throwing error.
The rest of the way Blackburn and Iverson locked up in a pitcher’s duel until the seventh inning.
Jeff Boyd singled to start Tupelo off in the seventh.
Golden Wave pinch hitter Mel McElroy bunted a ball Tupelo argued was foul, but the home plate umpire called the ball fair. Columbus catcher Justin Moss picked the ball up and threw out Dedrick Harmon, who was running for Boyd, at second base.
The same umpire called Jason Long for batter interference on the next play, ruling that McElroy, the runner, not Long, the batter, was out. Harmon disagreed before being tossed out. Then Long popped up to center field to end the game.
Columbus 3, Tupelo 2
Tupelo 020 000 0 2 7 3
Columbus 102 000 x 3 4 1
WP – Jay Blackburn (2-3). LP – Chad Iverson (4-2). Multiple Hits – (T) Duncan Foster 2, Jeff Boyd 2; 2B – (C) Jason Montgomery,(T) Jeff Boyd; Records:Tupelo 14-6, 2-1, Columbus 5-16,2-3.
Notes: This game had been moved twice due to rain outs.Iverson didn’t allow a hit in the final three innings. Next up for Tupelo is Saltillo and Fulton at home Saturday.