Tupelo opens division baseball play today

By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Gary Enis has a message for the Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team – it is all about defending your home turf.
The Tupelo head coach hopes his team hears that message loud and clear as the Wave open Division 2-6A play today at 6 p.m. hosting the South Panola Tigers.
“Our message in division play this year is that winning home division games is a must,” said Enis, whose Wave uncharacteristically lost two division home games last season. “We’ve been in most of our games this season, But in the losses, we haven’t been able to prevent the big inning.”
Enis can be feeling optimistic after winning a pair of games Saturday, including a come-from-behind 7-6 effort over Oxford, and an 11-0 win over Starkville in five innings. But the Wave have been inconsistent at 8-5, and Enis wants to avoid last year’s situation – being in a four-way tie in the division on the last day of the regular season.
“That was good to see,” said Enis of his Wave’s Saturday sweep. “Mentally, our team needed this.”
Pitchers challenged
Tupelo will need solid performances on the mound this week, with junior lefty Hudson Roy (1-2) getting the home start today, while senior Michael Hensley (3-1) is slated for the Friday game at South Panola.
“Just because these two are starting, doesn’t mean the rest of the staff won’t pitch,” Enis said. “They need to be ready.”
One of the bright spots for Tupelo in its early schedule has been the hitting of juniors Roy and Michael Ray. An outfielder as well as pitcher, Roy is batting .441, while Ray from the outfield and catcher is at .519.
Extending out its division schedule, Tupelo will have more road games than home games in its total of nine 2-6A games. Tupelo will have the home edge against South Panola (6-3), while playing two road games each at Grenada and Columbus (9-2).