By Gene Phelps
TUPELO – This time, Tupelo matched an opponent big inning for big inning.
The Golden Wave, behind a three-run triple by Michael Ray, scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning Tuesday for the insurance it needed to defeat Hernando 6-4 in a Division 2-6A game.
The visiting Tigers had taken a 4-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning with the help of two Tupelo fielding errors.
“We matched them that inning,” Tupelo coach Gary Enis said. “That was a huge hit by Michael Ray at a big time of the game.
“That was a big division win for this time of the season.”
Last week, Grenada handed the Golden Wave (12-4, 4-1) its lone division loss with a three-run seventh that forced extra innings.
The Wave travels to Hernando for a 7 p.m. rematch Friday. Hernando fell to 10-9 and 3-2.
Tupelo, down 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth, scored its first run on an RBI single by Hudson Roy. He plated Chase Cernigliaro, who had singled.
Matthew Miley, who walked, Roy and pitcher Carter Clayton, who singled, loaded the bases with two outs for Ray.
“I was looking for outside fastball and that’s what I got,” said Ray, who was tagged out at home on a close play, attempting to stretch his triple into an inside-the-park grand slam. “I thought it would be an easy triple.”
Enis pointed home and Ray turned on the jets. “I thought I was safe,” he said.
“It was a close play,” said Enis, who disputed the call. “The umpire had a better view.”
Clayton, a right-hander, improved to 4-1 for Tupelo. He four-hit Hernando, recorded three strikeouts and walked two.
William Ikerd and Clayton had RBI singles in the third for Tupelo.