Special to the Journal
TUPELO – Despite complications from the weather and a 20-minute rain delay, Tupelo baseball began the season with a 7-3 win over the Saltillo Tigers in the Tupelo Classic on Friday night at Golden Wave field.
Tupelo senior Ty Wheeler held a hot bat all night and drove in fellow senior Chase Cernigliaro on a single to left field in the first inning to give the Golden Wave the lead early and for good.
Wheeler started off what would be a strong third inning with a double to center field to drive in Cernigliaro again, giving the Wave a 2-0 lead.
Wheeler came around to score and make it 3-0 on an infield throwing error. The ball was put in play by junior William Ikerd, and the Wave (1-0) stretched the lead to 3-0.
Tupelo senior Luke Weeden doubled later in the inning to drive in Ikerd and senior Carter Clayton to increase the Wave’s run count to five.
Although Tupelo did put together an impressive offensive performance with the bats, Golden Wave senior Hudson Roy put on a pitching clinic, throwing six no-hit, scoreless innings.
“We’ve been ready for opening day since we’ve been able to start practicing. We had good senior pitching tonight from Hudson Roy, and we plan to build on that. It’s good to get a win,” Tupelo coach Gary Enis said.
Saltillo rallied in the seventh with two runs on three hits, but junior Garrett Hill was able to shut down the rally and close the game.
Saltillo coach Johnny Bolen says playing teams like Tupelo helps get his team better.
“Our first goal is to make the playoffs,” Bolen said. “After that it’s a new season. We play in a very competitive 5A division, and teams like Tupelo help us prepare for that.”