TUPELO – Senior Hudson Roy stepped up with a clutch performance on the mound for a Tupelo Golden Wave team lacking in playoff experience, carrying his team to a 2-1 victory over Madison Central on Thursday night.
The victory by the Wave (21-8) gives them a 1-0 lead in the best of three Class 6A first round playoff series. Game 2 moves to the Madison Central home field today, with a 6 p.m. first pitch. Game 3, if needed, would be back in Tupelo on Saturday.
Roy hurled five innings of no-hit ball with Tupelo holding a 1-0 lead, finally giving up two bloop singles to lead off the top of the sixth to Kyle O’Keefe and Matthew Mordecai. Following a sacrifice bunt, Roy then hit a Central batter to load the bases.
A medium-depth fly to right field did not advance the runners, but a solid single to center by Matthew Zimmerman tied the game at 1-1. Roy was still in trouble to the next batter, Trace Hamby, with a 3-2 count, but reached back for a little extra on a fastball to record the strike out.
Tupelo grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the sixth, taking advantage of Madison Central mistakes. Carter Clayton reached on an error, advanced on a balk, then scored on a throwing error from the infield off a ball hit by Michael Ray.
Besides the three hits given up in the sixth inning, Roy recorded six strike outs. Madison Central starter Austin Howland pretty much covered that effort, striking out eight Wave while scattering three hits over six innings.
The Wave grabbed the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Roy led off the frame with a walk, pinch runner Mickey Sesin advanced to second on Clayton’s bunt, and scored with two out on a ball to center off the bat of William Ikerd, just off the glove of the diving center fielder.
Tupelo had base runners caught in rundowns in the second and fifth innings. The only other inning the Jaguars had a base runner was in the fifth off a Tupelo error.