By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Christian Eagles gained an edge on first place in Division 4-1A on Tuesday.
At least for now.
In an evenly contested affair, TCPS made enough plays behind a complete game by Drew Carter for a 7-3 victory over Smithville in a battle of top teams in the division.
“Any win against these guys is huge,” TCPS head coach Will Lowery said. “They’re a gutty bunch, and it’s good to get this win.”
Carter kept Smithville (11-7, 2-1) in check most of the contest, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning. But at the same time, Smithville was limiting the Eagles (11-4, 4-0) on the scoreboard as well.
That changed in the bottom of the fourth inning. There, the first two Eagles reached base, including a single by Carter.
Then with two out and the bases loaded, two wild pitches plated the first runs of the game. TCPS then added three more on RBI singles by J. G. Lipscomb and Lee McBunch for a 5-0 lead.
Seminoles come back
In the top of the fifth, Smithville dented the TCPS momentum.
After Cole Williamson touched Carter for the first hit of the game against the Tupelo right hander, the Seminoles scored two with two out on an RBI double by Austin Knight and an RBI single by Kyle Noe to cut the Eagles lead to 5-2.
“They didn’t make the mistakes we did,” Smithville head coach Steve Kerr said. “We walked some batters, kicked the ball around.
“We’ll have to fight back through the division for when we play them again.”
Tupelo added some insurance runs in the sixth on a Smithville error and wild pitch.
“Drew has been a consistent force for us this season on the mound,” Lowery said. “We’ll go as far as he takes this team.
“But we need to keep our focus. The team is getting better, but there is still work to do.”
These two teams play again April 19.