By Gene Phelps
TUPELO – Ty Wheeler struck out in his first two at-bats Tuesday.
The Tupelo first baseman’s final trip to the plate ended a whole lot better – a game tying, two-out single in the seventh inning of a 7-6 comeback win by the Golden Wave against visiting Southaven.
“I was trying to get a hit; we needed it with two outs,” said Wheeler, who slapped a curveball off reliever Kyle Connelly into left field. “Our backs were against the wall. We needed something to happen.”
Tupelo, which improved to 19-8, travels to Louisville for a 4 p.m. game Friday, its last of the regular season. The Wave will host Madison Central or Horn Lake next Thursday in the first game of a best-of-three playoff series.
Tupelo, which trailed 6-4 entering the seventh, scored its winning run when Walter Goss’s grounder to shortstop was bobbled, allowing William Ikerd to cross the plate.
Hudson Roy opened the inning with a bunt single and scored on Michael Ray’s single to right center field. Ray stole second and scored on Wheeler’s hit.
“That was a great comeback win,” Tupelo coach Gary Enis said. “I’m proud of the way the guys battled in the seventh and tied it up … then scratched for a win.
“Hopefully the momentum will carry over to the next game. At this point of the season you’re looking for that mental edge.”
Wheeler agreed with his coach’s assessment of the comeback victory.
“It’s a win … we’ve got to keep winning and get some momentum for the playoffs,” he said.
Roy started and worked 41⁄3 innings, striking out seven, walking two and scattering five hits. Drew Hurst got the mound win in relief.
Roy also led the Golden Wave with three singles. Ray had two hits while Matthew Miley had a double.
Nic Short led Southaven with four singles and two RBI.