By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Nothing has been routine about the 2012 baseball season for the Tupelo Golden Wave.
Not defense. In its last Division 2-6A contest, the Wave committed five errors in a 5-0 loss at Columbus Thursday.
And not a 2-4 division mark. Tupelo has won five division titles in a row, and 22 of its last 23.
Despite those negatives, and with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, Tupelo still controls much of its post-season potential. That begins today as the Wave travel to South Panola for a 6 p.m. contest, the first of three crucial 2-6A matchups in the next eight days.
“We control getting in the playoffs by winning, and we’ve got to win these next three,” Tupelo coach Gary Enis said. “We haven’t played complete ball games in division play, and the thing that sticks out is that we haven’t been able to make routine defensive plays.”
Tupelo (14-8, 2-4) finds itself in the unusual spot of last place in the 2-6A standings. Grenada (10-7, 4-2) is in first, with Columbus (12-7, 3-3) and South Panola (13-10, 3-3) tied for second.
The Wave host Grenada on Friday at 6 p.m., then host Columbus April 17, the final game of the regular season for Tupelo. The Grenada contest is also scheduled to be senior recognition night.
“The first game against South Panola, we just didn’t make plays, and we just haven’t played well against them,” said Enis, whose Wave have lost twice to South Panola already. “We’re going to have to put pressure on their defense.”
In this week’s division contests, Enis is expecting to go with his usual starters on the mound. Senior Brayden Owen (1-1, 4.27 ERA) gets the start today, with senior Ben Aldridge (2-3, 2.33 ERA) Friday against Grenada.
But Enis was quick to point out that the Tupelo pitching staff has built a nice level of confidence during the recent stretch of 10 games in 10 days, winning nine of those. Also last week, Tupelo defeated Southaven and New Albany, teams ranked last week by the Clarion Ledger.
That paper’s new rankings will be out today.