By Brandon Speck
BELDEN – Young Tupelo Christian is being baptized by fire. In eight days, the rebuilding Class 1A Eagles are playing Lafayette, DeSoto Central, Grenada, Pascagoula, Bartlett and Sumrall.
“I just want them to compete and get better,” TCPS coach Will Lowrey said.
On Wednesday, the Eagles lost 7-0 against visiting DeSoto Central, the No. 13 team in the nation according to MaxPreps.
“It can be detrimental to a team if you’re just way overmatched and can’t compete. We’re lucky enough we’ve got some pitching, can possibly stay in some games. We know hitting-wise, we’re going to have to grow up fast.”
Three freshmen and a pair of sophomores started for TCPS (1-2). DeSoto Central starts five players committed to Division I schools: two Ole Miss signees, two Mississippi State commits, including winning pitcher Keegan James (1-0), and a Memphis commit.
“We put the ball in play and I think for a young team like this, they battled,” Lowrey said. “I think some good strong 6A teams would have trouble with these guys.”
DeSoto (3-0) scored two runs off a pair of errors in the second inning, one on a close double-play attempt from home to first.
Hayden Tapper added a two-run single in the third off starter J.G. Lipscomb.
Lowery says a fast-rising Lipscomb, like the Eagles, will only get better. Lipscomb (0-1), one of only two returning starters, had two of the Eagles’ three hits and struck out four batters in five innings. After he hit Clay Casey in the third, he nearly avoided trouble before the two-out single from Tapper.
DeSoto added three late insurance runs, including an RBI single from Casey, an Ole Miss signee, in the sixth and a solo homer from Dallas Woolfolk in the seventh.
“We knew we were going to get exactly what we got here, a very well-coached, scrappy Tupelo Christian team. They made us work for everything,” said DeSoto coach Mark Monoghan.