Tupelo 49ers still in title hunt

By David Wheeler
Special to the. Journal
TUPELO – Playing three games in less then 24 hours, the senior American Legion Tupelo squad dropped two games Saturday in the Tupelo 49ers Invitational, including an 8-4 setback to Florence, Ala.
“We just didn’t play well,” Kirk Presley said. “We didn’t have many good at bats, and we were not as clean defensively as we’d like to be.
“But we’ll be ready for the next one.”
Despite losing to Florence, and earlier in the day to the Mississippi Marlins 8-2, the 49ers (14-10) will still play for a trophy as the tournament concludes today. Tupelo will play at 3 p.m. against Pontotoc, while Florence will play Tuscaloosa at 12:30 p.m.
The championship game is at 5:30 p.m., and the Booneville Banditos and Mississippi Blues will play a consolation game at 10 a.m.
Against Florence, the 49ers saw the visitors grab a 4-0 lead through the top of the third. Florence scored a solo run in the first, and three in the third as the 49ers totaled four errors during that span.
Tupelo knocked that margin down to size in the bottom of the third, scoring four to tie the score as Tucker Jenkins from Baldwyn, Hunter White from Fulton, and Ty Wheeler from Tupelo had RBIs.
Florence answered Tupelo’s surge, beginning in the fourth as a hit and an error plated the go-ahead run. The visitors then got an RBI hit by Brandt Holland in the fifth, and a two-run home run by Russell Phillips in the seventh.
Wheeler threw the first four innings for the 49ers, taking the loss.
“We’ve played three games in 24 hours, and that’s not easy to do,” said Presley, who was working with only 10 players Saturday. “We’d like to be playing a little better this close to the State Tournament, but we had been playing better the last two weeks.
“I’d like to see a little better approach to the game (today).”
The senior American Legion State Tournament is. July 25-27 in Pontotoc.