By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team almost got too much of what the doctor might order in the form of playoff preparation.
In their senior-appreciation game Saturday, the Wave had to come from behind to edge the New Albany Bulldogs 5-2.
And in an earlier contest, Tupelo got past the East Union Urchins 5-1.
“We had two pressure games against two quality teams,” said Tupelo coach Gary Enis, whose team is ranked No. 1 in the Clarion Ledger state-wide rankings. “Against New Albany, Jack Hill gave us everything he had, then J. D. (Roberts) said he could close. Everything worked out pitching-wise.”
Hill worked into the fifth inning for Tupelo (23-1), which has now won 21 games in-a-row. But in the fourth and fifth frames, the Bulldogs (17-7) showed they meant business.
An RBI single in the fourth by Easton Hall for New Albany tied the score at 1-1. Then in the fifth, Riley Alef had an RBI single off William Goss that gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
But Tupelo found an answer in the bottom of the fifth off New Albany starter Hall, who had baffled the Wave most of the contest. A Goss single with one out in the inning tied the score at 2-2.
Then with the bases loaded and two outs, Roberts blopped a ball into short right off Tyler Beaty that fell in. There was also a 3-2 count on Roberts, so all the Tupelo runners were running on the pitch and scored on the play, giving the Wave a three-run margin.
Roberts faced the minimum in his final two innings of work to preserve the win.
Earlier against East Union, Brayden Owen made his first appearance on the mound of the season for Tupelo, pitching a complete game. Owen also threw only 59 pitches over seven innings, walking no one. Offensively in the contest for Tupelo, Conner Carothers and Blake McCullough had a pair of hits each, with one of Carothers’ connections a home run.
Tupelo closes out its Division 2-6A schedule Tuesday at Columbus in a 6 p.m. game.