By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
GREENVILLE – Tupelo Christian had a long bus ride home to think about a disastrous third inning on Monday night.
Host St. Joe scored eight runs in the third inning of a 10-0 victory, in the decisive third game of the Class 1A North final series.
St. Joe (17-5) advances to face Nanih Waiya in its second straight state championship series.
“We can look back and say there were things here, there and all over the place we could have done differently,” TCPS coach Will Lowrey said. “We just didn’t get it done.”
The Eagles (24-9) had five walks and two errors and St. Joe sent 14 to the plate against three ptichers in the third.
Emotions spilled over after the game, with St. Joe coach Chris Williams yelling at TCPS fans to leave. Williams thought a ball was thrown and hit his son.
TCPS officials said it was an accident as fans were tossing it around.
The coach was already upset with Lowrey, thinking he could have done more to avoid the Irish from driving halfway to Tupelo before a rainout Friday and having to play a delayed time Saturday. Lowrey said Williams insisted on coming both days. Lowrey, at his family’s advice, missed his step-daughter’s graduation Monday to travel here.
In the third, a pair of walks and a bloop single, that looked catchable just beyond the infield, loaded the bases for cleanup hitter Raines Rester. Rester’s single made it 2-0.
The third walk of the inning for TCPS starter Tyler Beard loaded the bases again before two scored on an error on Jacob Riefers’ dribbler and attempted throw home, a missed out that set up the rest of the inning. Two scored on walks, three on errors.
“We just didn’t hit the ball,” said junior JG Lipscomb, who had two of TCPS’ five hits. “This was our year. We had a great group of seniors.”