By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
COLUMBUS – Tupelo erased a bad memory here and made a very good one.
The Golden Wave beat Columbus 8-2 Tuesday night and won the Division 2-6A title, coupled with Grenada’s upset of South Panola.
The Wave (18-8, 6-3) had lost here in 11 innings earlier this month and now get a first-round playoff bye.
“We’re hitting a whole lot better and the pitching is coming around,” said winning pitcher Hudson Roy.
Roy (4-3) allowed a run on three hits in four innings. His leadoff double in the first was nearly wasted, but Rob McAuley drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch for a 1-0 lead. Ben Matthews lined out to first to end the inning.
Tupelo got six in the third off Columbus starter Trace Lee (5-4) and took a 7-0 lead on Matthews’ deep home run. It loaded the bases with no outs. J.G. Miley walked and Michael Ray and Kyle Cofer reached on a beat-out infield single and a bunt.
J.P. Stanzell hit a ball hard to short that wasn’t handled and two scored. The Wave added two more on McAuley’s chop over a pulled-in third base for a 5-0 lead.
“We had seen (Lee) once and I think our guys fed off that,” said Tupelo coach Gary Enis.
Ray had a diving catch in right in the bottom of the third. Tupelo added a run on Stanzell’s two-out single.
The Falcons (16-8, 5-4) scored two the bottom of the fourth on Greg Sykes’ single and a wild pitch.
Carter Clayton closed for Tupelo. Miley channeled Willie Mays with an over-the-shoulder catch to end the game with two on.
“They got the big hit and made the great plays,” Columbus coach Jeffrey Cook said.