By David Wheeler
TUPELO – What can make high school baseball so interesting on a Saturday are the matchups that occur when it is not a division contest.
Take the Tupelo Golden Wave squaring off against the Hamilton Lions – a good big school versus a lot of small-school tradition.
With the help of a big third inning, the Wave rolled to an 11-0 victory. But it was a win with positives for both teams.
“We put some hits together, and put some pressure on them,” Tupelo coach Gary Enis said. “We just have to get some consistency, but I like the way the team is coming together.”
The Wave (13-3) came to the lead early as John Gatlin hit a towering two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning for a 2-0 lead. But it was the third frame that gave Tupelo plenty of breathing room.
Tupelo managed six hits in the third, which helped to plate seven runs. Included in the scoring-fest were a pair of two-run hits by Collin Dexter and Chris Statton, which helped Tupelo to a 9-0 lead.
The Wave later added two more runs in the fourth to shorten the contest to five innings.
“We didn’t do that bad,” said Hamilton coach Lewis Earnest, whose Lions are 17-4. “The hits just fell their way, and they really didn’t hit the ball hard.
“But I’ve got to feel good at where we are now. We’ve been living on our pitching, but it still hasn’t come together for us yet.”
The Tupelo offense made a winner of Jacob McGregor (5-1), while Hamilton starter Cody Crouch got some valuable innings in for the Lions.
“These guys that pitched today for us don’t usually get a lot of innings,” said Enis, who saw his Wave beat Itawamba AHS earlier in the day 8-5. Perrin Crews and Kyle Graham pitched the earlier game.
The Wave should get a better handle on how the road for their post-season shapes up next week, with scheduled games Tuesday against South Panola, and Thursday against Starkville.
Tupelo 11, Hamilton 0
Hamilton (17-4) 000 00 ≠- 0 3 2
Tupelo (13-3) 207 2x – 11 9 1
WP: Jacob McGregor (5-1). LP: Cody Crouch. Multiple hits: (T) Robert Corban 3. HR: (T) John Gatlin.