By Daily Journal Reports
SALTILLO – A nice battle of Lee County diamond teams came down to the final at-bat as the Tupelo Golden Wave edged the Saltillo Tigers 5-4 Saturday.
“All of our pitchers did what they needed to do,” said Tupelo coach Gary Enis, who threw three different players against Saltillo. “I was proud of the way our guys battled back today.”
Tupelo had to battle back after Saltillo scored two runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead. The Tigers plated those runs on a John Gann hit and a Haze Russell sacrifice fly. Tupelo responded in the top of the sixth with two runs on one hit, with the runs scoring on a walk and hit batter.
Saltillo then threatened in the seventh inning as runners reached first and second base with no outs. Enter Brayden Owens for Tupelo, as the senior induced a double play and a strike out to end the contest.
“This win would have been big for us, but we are playing better,” Saltillo head coach Johnny Bolen said.
Owens effort in the seventh inning made a winner of sophomore Hudson Roy, who had entered the contest in the fourth inning.
Saltillo jumped on the scoreboard first in the second inning as RBI hits by Chase Watson and Gann gave the Tigers a 2-0. This was off Tupelo junior Michael Hensley, who was making his first varsity appearance on the mound.
Tupelo responded in the top of the third off Saltillo starter Chase Hill. The Wave had an RBI single by Kyle Cofer, also scoring on a walk and a wild pitch for a 3-2 lead.
“We had the opportunity to expand the lead, and we were one or two hits from having a big inning,” Enis said. “Michael Hensley did a good job, just got a little tired, and Owens did a good job with the double play.”
SOUTHAVEN 1, TUPELO 0: The host Golden Wave were treated rudely by Southaven junior pitcher Wyatt Short, who struck out 16 batters and carried a nohitter into the seventh inning.
Southaven (5-1) scored the only run of the contest in the top of the first on an error.
Tupelo starter Ben Aldridge hurled six innings, scattering five hits and striking out nine in taking the loss.
Tupelo is at Southaven on Monday, and plays the Chargers again on Thursday in Oxford.