By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
ELLISTOWN – In the grand scheme of high school baseball, it was a pretty good week for the East Union Urchins.
First, the Urchins swept a Division 1-2A opponent to clinch a playoff spot.
Then for the icing on top Saturday, East Union edged the Tupelo Golden Wave 4-2 behind the pitching effort of eighth grader Will Roaton.
“I think we’ve been struggling all year, but this was a great week for us,” East Union head coach Chris Basil said. “It really came together.
“The key today was a young eighth grader who really wanted the ball. When he had to make a pitch, he made a pitch.”
In helping the Urchins (18-8) defeat Tupelo for the first time since 2007, Roaton hurled 61/3 innings before a hard shot off the bat of Ben Aldridge in the seventh inning forced him to the bench. While on the mound, Roaton scattered six hits, walking four.
The youngster was able to handle the Tupelo threats, getting out of a bases-loaded situation in the second inning, and runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, and sixth innings.
“From not facing a left-hander in division play, I think that threw us off today,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “And we did hit some right at them, too.
“The thing that stands out is that we left a lot of guys in scoring position. We did not get the clutch hit, and we have to improve on that.”
Offensively, the Urchins gave Roaton support early in the contest.
Right off the bat, East Union got an RBI triple from Cody Dillard and an RBI single by Tray Davis in the first inning. The Urchins then backed that up in the third frame with RBI singles by Alex Boland and Austin Basil.
Tupelo loaded the bases in the second, getting a sacrifice fly from Colby Trotter for a run. Then in the fourth, Tupelo saw J. G. Miley lead off with a single, later scoring following hits by Dylan Vuncannon and Rob McAuley.
Tupelo 5, New Albany 1: The Wave (17-9) bounced back into its recent form at New Albany against the Bulldogs.
With the evening victory, Tupelo has now won 12 of its last 14 contests.
“We got good pitching performances today from Colby Trotter, McKamy Smith, and Hudson Roy,” Enis said.
The Wave starter against the Bulldogs (18-7), Smith lasted into the fifth inning, before Roy came in for the final nine outs.
The crucial frame for Tupelo was the fourth, scoring four times.
McAuley stroked a two-run triple, and Miley added an RBI hit during the outburst.