By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
BELDEN – Good Friday was definitely a Weird Friday for Tupelo Christian. The Eagles beat Houlka 6-0 in a Division 4-1A game, their fifth straight win.
Weird because the Eagles scored six runs on one hit, one of the game’s combined two hits.
“We’ve been struggling hitting,” TCPS coach Will Lowrey said. “Give all the credit to Houlka. Their pitchers threw well. They played good defense.”
Two lefties battled tight. TCPS’ Zachary Bridges (2-1) struck out seven in a complete-game shutout. Houlka (3-3, 1-2) starter Colby Butler, his first start since arm surgery, struck out five, but was charged with three runs.
Small ball saved the day for TCPS (10-4, 3-0), that and a few Houlka miscues.
JG Lipscomb walked and after a steal and wild pitch, scored on Tyler Beard’s sac fly to put the Eagles on the board in the top of the first.
TCPS scored five in the fifth on no hits. Zachary Tybor walked to open the inning. A balk and passed ball got him to third. Butler (0-1) hit Matt Cates and Marquis Vance came on in relief.
“(Butler) did good. If we would have just scored runs, we had a chance,” Houlka coach Jimmy Guy McDonald said.
Tybor scored on Jack Brady’s groundout for a 2-0 lead and courtesy runner Clayton Knight scored on an infield error. A pickoff error and wild pitch scored Lee McBunch for a 4-0 lead.
Vance intentionally walked cleanup Stephen Sexton to load the bases and Beard scored when Vance’s pickoff attempt to second wasn’t caught. Another wild pitch plated another for a 6-0 lead. Five more runs and TCPS still had only one hit.
Wind blowing in held up a couple of hard-hit balls from Beard and Sexton from possibly leaving the yard. Tybor led off in three innings and walked every time.
“The field showed up and that helped me a lot,” Bridges said. “We’re on a winning streak. We’re getting stronger.”