By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
BELDEN – The Tupelo Christian Eagles certainly know about playoff baseball, having appeared in two straight Class 1A semifinal series.
TCPS appears ready to do it again in 2014.
Tupelo used a six-run sixth inning Thursday to power past the West Union Eagles 11-5 in Game 1 of their 1A postseason play-in series.
“Any playoff win, no matter how ugly at times, is nice,” Tupelo Christian head coach Will Lowrey said. “We’ve been playing close games all year, and our guys stayed calm today.”
The best of three series shifts to West Union today for Game 2, scheduled for 6 p.m.
Tupelo Christian (11-10) certainly felt the pressure from West Union (11-11) after the visitors had tied the contest at 5-5 with four runs in the top of the sixth. But the season’s learning curve for the relatively young Tupelo squad paid off this game.
TCPS loaded the bases with one out after some West Union errors and designated hitter Andrew Lipscomb poked a single up the middle to score two and break the tie. TCPS scored on an error, then J. G. Lipscomb took an inside pitch to right field for a three-run homer and broke the contest open.
“We’ve been working hard on our approach at the plate,” Lowrey said. “I felt like tonight, it was one of our best games of the season at working the count.”
West Union’s Chase Bogue hit two home runs, the first in the first inning to put his team up 1-0. TCPS responded with a run in the third and three in the fourth on run-scoring hits from John Mark Jolley and Matt Cates. It added a run in the fifth.
West Union fought back in the top of the sixth, with Bogue leading off the inning with a home run. Hayden Basil’s fielders choice scored a run, and an Austin Kiddy bunt turned into two more runs to tie the contest at 5-5.