By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
While the number of days remaining in the regular season grow smaller, the magnitude of the games grows larger for Tupelo High’s baseball team.
The Golden Wave has four Division 2-6A games remaining, starting with today’s scheduled 6 p.m. matchup against division leader Columbus.
The visiting Falcons defeated Tupelo 7-6 in 11 innings Tuesday in Columbus to go to 14-3 overall and 4-1 in league play.
Tupelo saw its record fall to 10-8 and 2-3.
“We’re at 2-3 in the division, so Friday’s game (against Columbus) is big for us.” Tupelo coach Gary Enis said. “Things didn’t go our way Tuesday. We’ve got to find a way to regroup.”
Three teams in the four-team division advance to the postseason. Tupelo’s two wins are against Grenada, which is 9-4, 1-4. The Wave visits Grenada April 12 and returns to Columbus for a regular-season final April 16.
Tupelo’s other division game is a home meeting Tuesday against South Panola. The Tigers, who are 11-6, 3-2, have two victories against the Wave.
“There are a bunch of playoff scenarios, but we’re playing to win every division game,” Enis said. “We don’t want to count on these other division teams winning or losing.”
The regular season winner receives a No. 1 seeding and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The No. 2 and No. 3 teams from Tupelo’s division play a best-of-three play-in series against Division 4 teams.
Madison Central leads 4-6A and Northwest Rankin is a lock for No. 2. The No. 3 team will be Jackson Murrah or Jim Hill.
Right-hander Michael Hensley (4-1, 1.40 ERA) is expected to start on the mound today against the Falcons.
Outfielder Michael Ray leads Tupelo with a .436 batting average and a team-high 10 RBI. Hudson Roy, the starting pitcher in Tuesday’s loss, is second with a .372 average.
“We’ve got to pitch better and we’ve got to hit better,” Enis said. “We’ve got to have some guys step up and make plays like they did in the Grenada series.”