Host Panthers take pitching duel with Wave

By Special to the Daily Journal

AMORY – Playing extra paid off for the Amory Panthers.
A Daniel Simpson hit to the gap in left center scored Tanner Poole with the winning and only run of the contest to help the Panthers down the Tupelo Golden Wave 1-0 in eight innings Saturday in early action at the Amory Tournament.
“The main thing, I’m proud of our guys competing for all innings,” said Amory head coach Chad Williams, whose team’s only loss on the young season is to New Hope. “Poole did a great job leading off with a base hit.
“Then Simpson, who’s been seeing the ball well, came through with a hit.”
Poole led off the bottom of the eighth with a single off Tupelo reliever Hudson Roy. The Tupelo sophomore induced a strike of the next batter, but with Poole stealing second base, Simpson came through with a hit to the left field gap against the shallow Tupelo outfield.
“We just didn’t get anything going offensively, couldn’t string together hits,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “We’ve got to take advantage when we get base runners to second.”
The starting pitchers for each squad dominated the majority of this contest – Ben Aldridge for the Wave (2-1), and Poole for the Panthers (4-1).
Featuring a nasty breaking pitch, and the ability to throw inside, Poole only allowed three hits to the Wave, while striking out 10 over seven innings of work. Aldridge was just as effective, scattering four hits while striking out six.
In his outing, Aldridge survived a first inning with runners on second and third after an error and a walk.
The Tupelo defense also turned double plays in the fourth and fifth innings.
Against Poole, Tupelo had base runners at second base in the sixth and seventh innings, only to have them thrown out at third on batted balls in the infield each time.
“We did struggle at the plate today, but it was because of who was on the mound for Tupelo,” Williams said. “Our pitching has been better than what everyone expected so far, just hoping our bats will come around.”