NETTLETON’S BILL HALL EARNS VICTORY OVER TUPELO WITH KEY K
By Greg Smith
If it was drama you were looking for, the Tupelo High School baseball field was the place to be Saturday night.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Nettleton led Tupelo 5-4 in the final inning of the final game of the Lee County Baseball Tournament. Tupelo’s Andy Williamson was at the plate and Nettleton’s Bill Hall was on the mound.
A base hit would win it or at least tie it for the Golden Wave. An out would seal the victory for Nettleton.
This time, it was the Tigers who had things by the tail as Hall got the strikeout and Nettleton got the win. The game left both teams with 1-1 records for the tournament and on the young season.
Earlier Saturday, Saltillo and Shannon took games from Baldwyn. The Tigers won the day’s first contest 6-2 and the Red Raiders stopped the Bearcats 7-5. Saltillo posted a 2-0 mark in the season-opening tournament, while Shannon went 1-1 and Baldwyn 0-2.
For his part, Nettleton coach Brian Sutton was happy with the outcome.
“I was proud of the young kids,” Sutton said after the finale. “They didn’t give up when they were down.”
Tupelo coach Larry Harmon agreed.
“They did the things they had to do to win the ball game,” Harmon said. “We had opportunities. We just didn’t make the plays.”
Indeed, Tupelo didn’t even get a hit until the fourth inning. By that time Nettleton was up 2-0 behind some strong pitching from Barrett Morgan. But Morgan ran into trouble in the fourth, as the Golden Wave used three walks, two hits and an error to take a 4-2 lead.
Hall held Tupelo scoreless for the remainder of the game, however, while the Tigers got a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to put things out of reach.
In Saturday’s first game, Saltillo took a 4-0 lead before Baldwyn scored two in the fifth. The Tigers matched those runs with two more of their own in the sixth for the 6-2 win.
Chris Brazeal and Chi Wesson led the Saltillo attack with a double apiece, while Bill Diggs, Jeff Dillard, Alex Dillard and Wesson got one single each. For Baldwyn, Jamie Gray, Nick Ashmore and Justin Gentry had one single each.
The Bearcats actually outhit Shannon 5-4 in the second game, but committed five errors that helped the Red Raiders score their seven runs.
Jeff Wilson was the winning pitcher for Shannon, and Justin Gentry took the loss for Baldwyn. Wilson had a double for the only extra-base hit of the game.