Special to the Journal
TUPELO – Two playoff-bound baseball teams battled it out Friday night at Golden Wave Field. Madison Central got the 8-7 victory over Tupelo in a game that had its fair share of lead changes and offensive production.
Madison Central brought in its first run early in the top of the first with a fly out to center field by Blake Paben. That brought in leadoff hitter Blake Morton, who doubled to left field in the first at-bat of the game.
Tupelo would not answer until the third inning, but answered big with a grand slam by junior William Ikerd, giving the Golden Wave a three-run lead.
Madison came roaring back and scored seven runs in the next two innings to go up 8-6.
The Golden Wave threatened the Jaguars in the seventh but could not complete the rally.
Down by two, Tupelo’s Luke Weeden and Ty Wheeler found themselves in scoring position, when sophomore Jason Garrett perfected the sacrifice fly to drive in Weeden, cutting the lead to one and keeping the rally alive.
After Woody Goss drew a walk, Tupelo had runners at the corners with two outs, when the game ended with a fly out by Carson Roberts.
It was an ending to a game that, as Tupelo coach Gary Enis said, had a “great playoff feel, where every pitch and every at-bat mattered.”
Enis was aware of Madison’s hot bats, and Tupelo’s pitching problems.
“They didn’t miss many of our pitches. They had some good at-bats on us particularly in those middle innings. We just made a lot of mistakes pitching that we haven’t made throughout the year. We’ll have to learn from some of those at-bats tonight.”
Tupelo will strive to learn from those mistakes as they prepare for the upcoming playoffs. After a win over Hernando Wednesday night, Tupelo clinched the division and a first round playoff bye, and will host the Horn Lake-Madison Central winner.
Tupelo is 0-2 against Madison this season.