By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team have led in each of their seven games this season.
Yet, Tupelo entered Friday’s matchup with the North Pontotoc Vikings with a disappointing .500 record.
The Wave were able to avert another come-from-behind attempt this contest and claimed a 5-4 victory over the Vikings.
“We’re got to do a better job closing games,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “We’ve gotten big innings against us, and we’ve got to learn to close, and to perform under pressure.
“But, we should get better at that as the year goes on.”
Tupelo (4-3) had a 5-0 lead at one point, but allowed some drama late. North Pontotoc (3-4) scored a solo run in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by Easton Smith.
Then in the seventh frame, the Vikings scored two runs on a fielder’s choice and error, and added a RBI single by Smith to pull with one run. But Tupelo reliever Wendell Goss got a strike out to end the contest.
“We never let the game get away from us,” said North Pontotoc head coach Chad Anthony, whose Vikings have now lost three one-run games. “It would have been a lot different game if we had gotten some hits when we had the chance to drive in some runs.”
Tupelo missed few offensive opportunities early.
In the first inning, doubles by Hudson Roy, Colton Norrod, and Michael Ray plated two runs. In the second, Ty Wheeler had an RBI single to put the Wave up 3-0.
Tupelo then padded its advantage by scratching out solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
That made a winner of Roy, who pitched five innings for the Wave. North Pontotoc starter Trey Jolly pitched into the fifth inning, relieved by Adam Wilder.
Tupelo continues play against solid Northeast Mississippi competition today, hosting Amory at 1 p.m., then traveling to Saltillo for a 6 p.m. contest.