n Home team holds 2-0 lead before things get out of hand in the last two innings.
BY JOHN WILBERT
PONTOTOC – Starting pitcher Jon Michael Hannon and Pontotoc were sailing through Monday night’s game against Tupelo before the unfortunate happened.
Pontotoc’s 2-0 lead entering the sixth inning became a distant memory as Tupelo (9-3) erupted for 14 runs in the final two innings to beat the Warriors 14-2.
“I thought we played really good baseball for 51/3 innings,” said Pontotoc coach Phil Webb, “and as soon as Tupelo put some pressure on us we didn’t handle it very well.
“We made two critical errors in that sixth inning and we never regained our composure.”
Hannon (1-1) was effective through five innings, allowing no runs and no hits, while striking out seven and walking eight. He struck out the first batter to begin the sixth before allowing three consecutive singles to load the bases.
Blake O’Callaghan then relieved Hannon and things went downhill from there for the Warriors (14-3-1).
O’Callaghan walked Collin Dexter to force in a run, surrendered RBI singles to John Gatlin and Lex Rutledge, and was victim of a two-run throwing error on a ground ball to short.
However, three of Tupelo’s runs that inning were charged to Hannon.
Getting ‘a chance to win’
Hannon “did a real good job,” Webb said. “He got out of some jams. He got out of some big bases-loaded jams with some strikeouts. Couldn’t ask for anything more out of him.
“He gave us a chance to win and unfortunately we couldn’t play defense behind him and get it done.”
Jake Smithey put Pontotoc up 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth when he homered to left center off Tupelo starter Perrin Crews following a one-out double by Nathan White.
Crews, who made his first start of the season on Monday, was lifted for Kyle Graham with one out in the bottom of the fifth.
Graham only allowed two runners to reach base in the final 22/3 innings as he earned his first win of the season.
Crews allowed five hits and two walks, while striking out two.
“Just what we wanted out of those two,” Wave coach Gary Enis said. “I’m very proud of those two for the way they threw strikes and allowed the defense to make plays.”
Dexter and Jacob McGregor had three-run homers in the top of the seventh for Tupelo.
TUPELO 14, PONTOTOC 2
Tupelo 000 006 8 – 14 13 0
Pontotoc 000 200 0 – 2 7 2
WP: Kyle Graham (1-0). LP: Jon Michael Hannon (1-1).
Multiple hits: (T) Jacob McGregor 3, John Gatlin, Robert Corban, Kyle Graham; (P) None. 2B: (P) Nathan White. HR: (T) Collin Dexter, McGregor; (P) Jake Smithey.
Records: Tupelo 9-3, Pontotoc 14-3-1.