By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – The momentum could have fallen in any direction on Thursday as the Itawamba Indians visited the Northeast Tigers.
The Indians (12-14, 3-5) nudged it in their direction with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 3-2 win in Game 1 of their North Division doubleheader.
“That was a character-building game, and our guys kept fighting the whole game,” Itawamba coach Rick Collier said. “You usually like to go 2-0 at home and 1-1 on the road.
“We’ve backed ourselves into a corner in the division, and we need couple of sweeps on the road.”
In Game 2, Northeast (15-9, 8-2) scored a solo run in the bottom of the seventh to claim a 4-3 win, and the series split.
Down a run in the first game, the Itawamba heroics in the top of the seventh of Game 1 started with a lead off single by Austin Welch from Hamilton, with the bases eventually loaded with no outs. Cody Shrewsbury from Tupelo plated a run with a sacrifice fly, then Cameron Coker doubled to score the go-ahead run.
“Coker is a key to our lineup,” said Collier of Coker, who has missed a number of games because of an injury.
The Indians effort complimented the solid pitching of Ben Hudspeth from Tupelo, who scattered four hits in his seven innings of work.
Northeast popped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third as Ethan Estes from Biggersville led off the frame with a single, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Will Robertson from Falkner. Itawamba responded in the fourth, as a bases loaded walk by Jacob Shempert from Houston tied the game at 1-1.
The Tigers plated another run in the fifth as Estes led off with a triple, then scored on a single by Luke Stanley from Lafayette.
The area rivals will play April 20 in Fulton.