Special to the Journal
PONTOTOC – The Pontotoc Red Sox certainly have a high level of expectations when it comes to the senior American Legion State Tournament.
The Red Sox have played in the last four championship games, but their last state title was 2010.
Pontotoc wants the brass ring – the 2014 senior American Legion championship – and the Red Sox begin their quest early today at 11 a.m. against the Tupelo 49ers.
“Normally, we throw the ball well, and most of the time we have good defense,” veteran Pontotoc head coach Nicky Browning said. “But our hitting has been up and down.”
The Red Sox have known quite a bit of success thus far in 2014, amassing a 23-8 record. Pontotoc has also been in the championship games of several tournaments throughout the summer, including the finals of the Tupelo 49ers invitational, July 11-13.
But Pontotoc has not played since a contest against Booneville July 14.
“I don’t like to skip weekends,” said Browning, whose squad lost its chance to play last weekend when the Banditos tournament was cancelled because of wet weather.
Plenty of arms
Like each of the three area teams, Pontotoc has a pitching staff that is deep enough to carry the team to a title.
On Pontotoc’s staff, Browning has at least five arms that could be very important this weekend, especially with the games being nine inning affairs, and the head coach is not sure which he will run out to the mound, and in what order.
When Pontotoc goes on the offensive, Browning likes how J. G Lipscomb from Tupelo Christian and Hadyen Cummings from Pontotoc have been hitting. Andrew Lambert from Booneville and Peyton Callahan from Houston have had good moments at the plate as well.
“As the host, I think it’s important to get our fans out,” Browning said. “I don’t think we’re the favorites, it’s whoever gets not at the right time.”
In the double-elimination format, there will be two losers bracket games following the Pontotoc game, with a winners bracket contest at 8 p.m.