By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – The Pontotoc Warriors were executing in all phases of the game of baseball on Tuesday.
And that put them in the NEMCABB Summer Championships semifinals.
In quarterfinal action of the tournament, the Warriors handled the Houston Hilltoppers 8-2.
“I feel like we got a good pitching performance from Ryan Watts and got some timely hits,” said Pontotoc head coach Casey James, whose Warriors lost five players to graduation. “This tournament is great.
“We get to see teams and play teams we don’t get in contact with during the summer. This is a great local thing.”
The Pontotoc offense did its thing this contest, jumping to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The first three Pontotoc batters reached base, with Watts and Caleb Barnes getting RBI doubles to plate the Warriors runs.
The icing on the cake was the top of the fourth, plating five runs in the frame. The Warriors did the trick with just one hit, a two-run single by Chance Witt.
In the meantime, Watts appeared to have few hiccups on the mound for the Warriors. The Pontotoc starter only gave up solo runs in the second and third innings.
The Hilltoppers scored its first run on an infield grounder in the second, then a run in the third on an error.
Earlier in the day, Pontotoc defeated Alcorn Central 10-0.
The Warriors will play Oxford, which beat New Albany 6-5, in one semifinal at 3:30 p.m. today.
The other tournament semifinal will feature Lafayette-Itawamba AHS at 3:30 p.m.
The championship game is set for 6 p.m.