By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Christian Eagles were scratching and clawing for their playoff lives Saturday.
Their claws were just sharp enough.
Using a five-run rally in the bottom of the fifth frame, TCPS evened its Class 1A first round series at 1-1 with the Ingomar Falcons with a 9-7 victory.
With the series tied, Game 3 in the best of three pairing is now slated for Monday at 6 p.m. at Ingomar.
“We had to fight hard as gritty as this Ingomar team is,” Tupelo Christian coach Will Lowery said.
“We were trying to focus on having as many good at bats as we could.”
Quality at bats in Game 2 for TCPS (20-7) included drawing nine walks against Ingomar (19-6) pitching.
TCPS needed every advantage it could find entering the bottom of the fifth inning trailing 7-4. Ingomar pitching did limit the Eagles to just three hits, but Drew Carter made his count, connecting on a two-run home run to kick-start his team’s momentum and pull them within 7-6.
Later in the at bat, Matt Cates had an RBI single to tie the contest, then TCPS scored the go ahead runs on one play, a wild pitch and an error.
Devin Orr then relieved Zachary Bridges in the sixth inning to shut down Ingomar the rest of the way.
“We walked a ton of people in this game,” Ingomar head coach Andy Wilbanks said. “It’s going to be a big thing how we take this loss.
“If we come to play Monday, it’s going to be a great game.”
Ingomar certainly came to play through the middle innings.
The Falcons scored twice in the first on a two-run single by Dillen Speck.
They added a run in the second on Joseph Broom’s RBI.
TCPS responded with a sacrifice fly by Carter in the first inning for a run. They added another run on a sac fly by J. G. Lipscomb in the second, and a run on a sacrifice fly by Stephen Sexton and an error to take a 4-3 lead.
Ingomar tried to take control in the top of the fifth that included an RBI pinch-hit by Logan Nobles to take a 7-4 lead.