All posts by tbradenbishop

Senior Clayton hurls, hits Tupelo to the next round

“And the thing is, they still haven’t played their best ball yet.” Tupelo Golden Wave head coach Gary Enis obviously still thinks there is an upside to this season, and now there at least two more games left to reach that potential. And the Wave are just two games away from playing for a state championship.

The Wave did all the basics well enough Saturday, scratching out enough runs, playing error-free defense, and pitching well to defeat the Columbus Falcons 3-1. The victory in Game 2 of this series gave the Wave a sweep, and advanced them to the semifinals of the Class 6A Tournament. Tupelo awaits the winner of the DeSoto Central-Northwest Rankin series, with the semifinal round scheduled to start Thursday.

“We came into this game relaxed and focused, but I didn’t want us to be too laid back.” Enis said. “We have done better at playing relaxed the last half of the season. And I can’t say enough about out pitching right now.”

Against Columbus (23-9) in this Game 2, Tupelo (24-8) senior starter Carter Clayton pitched in to the fifth inning, scattering seven hits during his stint. Sophomore Drew Hurst got the final out of the fifth, then finished off the contest, allowing only two hits.

Offensively, part of Tupelo’s success has been scoring in the first inning, which the Wave have done in three of four post-season games. Against Columbus this game, Clayton singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, followed by a Michael Ray walk. Ty Wheeler then grounded to short, with Clayton scoring on the play.

Tupelo then backed that up in the second inning. Game 1 hero Chase Cernigliaro led off with a single, followed a batter later by a perfect bunt single by Matthew Miley as Tupelo loaded the bases. Clayton then knocked in Woody Goss with a single to left for the 2-0 lead.

The Wave then added one more run in the top of the fifth as Wheeler stroked a shot to right that turned around the fielder, who was also battling the sun. Garrett Hill came on to run, scoring as on a strike out as the Columbus catcher threw short to first, allowing the Tupelo junior to score on the play.

“I knew we had a senior-led team this season, and I knew that if we could get the job done between the lines, we could get the job done in the playoffs,” Enis said. “This team is still waiting to play its best ball.”

The Northwest Rankin-DeSoto Central series is tied 1-1 after Central won Game 2 Saturday 11-6. Northwest Rankin won Game 1 Friday 7-5. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday at DeSoto Central. 

Tupelo would travel for Game 1 if DeSoto Central wins, or would host Game 1 if Northwest Rankin wins. It is still up in the air how the schools would handle scheduling around Tupelo’s graduation Friday.

And the championship series for all classifications in the state are scheduled for May 20-24 in Pearl.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Late surge, Cernigliaro walk off give Tupelo Game 1

In April, senior infielder Chase Cernigliaro thought his baseball season might be over because of a broken finger. Now, the Tupelo Golden Wave are certainly happy that Cernigliaro had a few more games left in his high school career.

Cernigliaro delivered the game-winning hit Friday with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning, capping an emotional game and a 7-6 victory by the Wave over the Columbus Falcons in the Class 6A playoffs. Tupelo takes a 1-0 lead in the second round series, with Game 2 scheduled for today at 6 p.m. at Columbus, weather permitting.

“I actually thought my season was over at one point,” said  Cernigliaro in his third game back from the injury. “Now hopefully, I can stay hot. In the at bat, I just said to myself you’ve got to step up big.”

Tupelo (23-8) needed big as Columbus stormed back in the sixth inning in a contest the Wave were already beginning to chalk up in the win column. With Tupelo up 5-1, the Falcons scored four in the top of the sixth on two walks, a hit batter, and three hits. Columbus (23-7) then took the lead in the top of the seventh, with two Tupelo errors helping to set up a sacrifice fly with which the Falcons took the lead.

Now Columbus was beginning to write this one down in the books, with Carter Clayton reaching base on an error to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but followed by two Tupelo outs. William Ikerd then reached base on an infield error, scoring Clayton.

Luke Weeden drew a walk for the Wave, but there were still two out in the inning, with Columbus ace Trace Lee still on the mound. Cernigliaro then stroked a solid single to center, scoring pinch runner Mickey Sesin to cap the Wave rally.

“They just kept fighting,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “Somehow tonight, we found a way to get it done.”

Excellent defense and timely offense the early innings of the contest aided Tupelo in grabbing a lead. Hudson Roy drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first, advanced to third on a Michael Ray single, then scored on a sac fly by Ty Wheeler. 

Columbus knotted the contest at 1-1 in the third on two walks, a bunt, and a slow, bouncing infield grounder. Meanwhile the Tupelo defense saw stellar plays by Matthew Miley with a diving effort in right field in the first, and diving stab by Clayton at third base in the fourth to keep Columbus at bay.

The Tupelo offense moved into gear in the middle innings, beginning in the bottom of the fourth as Cernigliaro had an RBI single, a Woody Goss bunt scored a run, and a Miley grounder scored another. Then in the fifth, Wheeler just missed a home run with a shot off the left-center wall that was good for a triple, and pinch runner Tucker Whitenton scored on a wild pitch.

“These were closely matched teams,” Columbus head coach Jeffrey Cook said. “We just didn’t make the plays the last inning. I told the team this was baseball, and you get another chance tomorrow.”
Roy had the start on the mound for the Wave in Game 1, pitching into the sixth inning. Jason Garrett relieved in the sixth inning, and Drew Hurst threw to the final two batters in the seventh.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Falcons, Golden Wave continue rivalry today

TUPELO, MS – With reclassification at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, longtime division baseball foes the Tupelo Golden Wave and Columbus Falcons were left scratching their heads why they were not league rivals. Now in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, Tupelo and Columbus will be butting heads.

Weather permitting, Tupelo and Columbus will renew their rivalry today as the Wave host Game 1 of the best of three series at 6 p.m. Game 2 is set for Saturday in Columbus at 6 p.m., with Game 3 if needed back in Tupelo Monday.

Tupelo (22-8) comes into the second round off a two game sweep of Madison Central, winning games 2-1, and an eight inning 6-5 affair. Columbus also swept their first round series over Clinton, including an extra-inning win in Game 2.

Tupelo had a bye during the playin round thanks to its No. 1 seed out of Division 2-6A. Columbus finished second in 3-6A behind Northwest Rankin and ahead of Madison Central.

Northwest Rankin and DeSoto Central are on the other side of the bracket in the North, with the winners of these two series scheduled to play May 15-17 in the 6A semifinals.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (May 4)

BASEBALL:  Tupelo (22-8) defeated Madison Central last Thursday and Friday to advance in 6A playoffs. THS will now host Columbus (23-6) in the MHSAA 6A quarterfinals Friday at 6 p.m. They’ll travel to Columbus Saturday for a 6 p.m. tip, and return to THS, if necessary, next Monday at 6 p.m. The winner of the series will face either DeSoto Central or Northwest Rankin in the 6A semis next weekend. All games will stream LIVE at www.goldenwaveathletics.com.

TENNIS: Tupelo competed in the individual championship in Jackson last week. Andrew Hildenbrand and Mitch Ostrander defeated Eric Huey and Hogan Harrington in three sets for the 6A boys doubles state title.

GOLF: Girls competed in the 6A finals and got 3rd; boys finished 2nd. Austin Rose finished 2nd individually in 6A.

TRACK: THS boys captured the 6A North Half title at Madison Central yesterday; girls placed 3rd. For the boys, this was their first North Half title since 2008. 13 boys entries qualified for state (12 individual, one relay); girls qualified eight (seven individual, one relay).

 

BLANKETS OF THE WEEK:

  • Hudson Roy, Carter Clayton, Drew Hurst, and Matthew Miley contributed immensely in Tupelo’s series swept over Madison Central.
  • Andrew Hildenbrand/Mitch Ostrander and Eric Huey/Hogan Harrington went No. 1 and No. 2 in 6A for boys doubles in tennis.
  • Girls and boys golf had strong finishings at state.

 

As always, follow @tbradenbishop or @TupeloHigh for updates and pertinent information regarding all Tupelo Golden Wave athletics. themblankets.com is also on Facebook. Be sure to Like us. #themblankets

Hurst hurts Madison Central, advances to face Columbus

MADISON – The Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team had a lineup full of heroes Friday in its first round playoff game against the rival Maidson Central Jaguars. And they needed every one of them.

The last two were Ty Wheeler with the game-winning RBI, and sophomore pitcher Drew Hurst with the final two outs of the eighth inning fight as the Wave held on for a 6-5 win.

“We threw the last two punches, so to speak,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “it was the sacrifice fly to get the lead, then Hurst closing the door.”

With the victory, the Wave (22-8) win the Class 6A playoff series 2-0, and advance to meet former division foe Columbus in the second round of the playoffs. Columbus also needed extra innings Friday to sweep its series with Clinton. Game 1 will be at Tupelo Friday, with Game 2 at Columbus Saturday.

The late-inning heroics were needed as Madison Central scored a tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Jaguars loaded the bases with no hits and no outs to begin the inning, with a fielders choice plating the run.

Though it was extra baseball, the Wave did not let the extended play last long. In the top of the eighth, Carter Clayton turned a check swing into an infield hit. Michael Ray followed with a grounder that was misplayed, allowing Clayton to advance to third. 

Ray stole second, then William Ikerd was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. That brought up Wheeler, who with two strikes on him, lifted a fly to right field that scored Clayton, who made a smart slide for the go-ahead run.

Then the pressure fell to Hurst, who was on the mound for the final three outs of the seventh. In the bottom of the eighth, the Jaguars had a leadoff single. Clayton then made a nice diving catch on a bunt, and Hurst chalked up a strike out. Central still had life on a second single to put two on, but Hurst recorded the final out with a strike out.

“I can’t put into words how we feel right now,” said Ray, the senior center fielder. “We’ve been wanting to play Madison Central in the playoffs since we were freshmen and seeing Connor Carothers and that Wave team from 2011 play them in the playoffs. This is what you dream about.”

After Game 1 where Tupelo bats were almost absent, though it was a 2-1 win, Enis had a full-scale batting practice Thursday. That paid off for the Wave Friday, beginning in the top of the third inning.

With Madison Central leading 1-0, Matthew Miley led off the third with a single, winding up on third. With one out, Clayton laid down a perfect squeeze to score Miley. Tupelo kept going, with Ray hustling out an infield hit, eventually scoring on an error off the bat of Luke Weeden. Ikerd followed with a double, with Weeden scoring from first as Tupelo took a 3-1 lead.

The excitement level went up a notch in the fifth as the Jaguars scored three runs on three hits and an error to take a 4-3 lead. Tupelo responded in the sixth, with Miley and Roy getting one-out hits. Then with two away, Ray hit a ground that was misplayed, allowing two to score for a 5-4 lead. 

“This was just a great win,” Enis said. “We didn’t want to go play a Game 3.”

Clayton started the game on the mound for Tupelo. Will Buse entered the game in the fifth, and Jason Garrett entered the game in the sixth inning.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Roy pitches quickly, Tupelo captures Game 1 over Madison

TUPELO – The current Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team is basically void of high school playoff experience. So who would step up to lead the Wave to potentially their first post-season win since 2011.

Hudson Roy.

The Tupelo senior had a no-hitter through five innings, and pitched his way out of a bases-loaded situation in the sixth to lead the Wave to a 2-1 victory Thursday against the Madison Central Jaguars. The victory in Game 1 of the best of three First Round series in Class 6A gives Tupelo a 1-0 lead in the matchup, with Game 2 today at Madison Central at 6 p.m.

“A win is a win, and you have to credit Hudson Roy for his pitching performance,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “But we have to do a better job supporting our pitching.”

Roy cruised through the first five innings not allowing a hit, with only one base runner reaching base on an error in the fifth inning. Then in the top of the sixth, the bottom two batters in the Jaguars lineup reached base bloop hits to center by Kyle O’Keefe and Matthew Mordecai.

A bunt and a hit batter latter, the bases were loaded, though an average-depth fly to right field failed to advance the runners. Then Matthew Zimmerman singled to center, tying the game at 1-1. Then with a full count on Trace Hanby, Roy dug deep and recorded the strike out to get out of the inning.

“He came through for us on that 3-2 count,” Enis said. “He carried us to victory.”

“I felt like I was hitting my spots good, even in the sixth inning,” Roy said. “It’s great to get this win, and I hope it gives us momentum for tomorrow.”

Tupelo (21-8) responded to Madison Central in the bottom of the sixth, though not in text book fashion. Carter Clayton reached base on an error, moved to second base on a balk, then scored on a ground ball off the bat of Michael Ray, which saw Madison Central overthrow to first base.

The first inning saw Tupelo grab the early lead, with Roy drawing a walk to begin the frame. Following a sacrifice bunt by Clayton, pinch runner Mickey Sesin came across to score on a single by William Ikerd to center, with the ball glancing off the diving attempt of Mordecai.

“We’re up 1-0, but it doesn’t change how we’re going to approach Game 2,” Enis said. “We’re going to put the ball in Carter Clayton’s hands.”

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Tupelo baseball opens playoffs with rival Madison Central

The Tupelo Golden Wave will soon be welcomed to the 2014 baseball playoffs. And greeting the Wave will be a school that always brings a high level of tradition and intensity when the two meet – the Madison Central Jaguars.

In first round action of the Class 6A playoffs, Tupelo and Madison Central will meet for a best of three series beginning today.

Tupelo will host Game 1 with a 6 p.m. starting time today at Golden Wave Field. Game 2 moves to Madison Central Friday, also a 6 p.m. start. If needed, Game 3 would be back in Tupelo Saturday at 2 p.m.

“This is a big one for our school, for our students,” Tupelo head baseball coach Gary Enis said. “Any sport we play, it seems we have to go through Madison Central. I’m looking forward to the series.”

Tupelo (20-8) got to this point by winning the regular season title in Division 2-6A, earning a bye. Madison Central (13-12) finished third in 3-6A, starting 0-5 in league play before finishing on a 3-1 run. In the play-in round last week, Madison Central took care of Horn Lake in three games.

Also for the first time ever, the two played during the regular season, with the Jaguars winning both games. At Madison, Tupelo lost 6-4 on March 29. And in April 18, the home-standing Wave lost 8-7, leaving the tying run at third base in the bottom of the seventh.

“Those games gave us an idea what kind of offense they have,” Enis said. “In those two games, they put the ball in play. We’ll have to play solid defensively.”

Both Tupelo and Madison Central did not throw their top pitchers in the two regular season meetings. Enis expects to throw senior Hudson Roy (4-1) today, then senior Carter Clayton (7-1) on the road Friday.

In the April 18 meeting, the Jaguars had 11 hits while the Wave had 10, including a grand slam by junior catcher William Ikerd, and three hits by Ty Wheeler. Roy currently leads Tupelo with a .351 batting average, followed by Wheeler at .341, while senior centerfielder Michael Ray paces Tupelo with 22 RBI.

“Every team member needs to step up and be ready to contribute,” Enis said. “Right now we need to be mentally sharp.”
In the bottom half of the North 6A bracket, the Tupelo-Madison Central winner will face the winner of Clinton-Columbus.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (April 27)

BASEBALL:  Tupelo (20-8) defeated Southaven and Louisville last week to finish the regular season. THS will host Madison Central in the 2nd Round of 6A playoffs Thursday at 6 p.m. They’ll travel to MC Friday for a 6 p.m. tip, and return to THS, if necessary, Saturday at 2 p.m. All games will stream LIVE at www.goldenwaveathletics.com.

FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL: THS (8-18, 0-6) finished their season with a loss to Hernando last Tuesday.

TENNIS: Tupelo (12-4) lost in 6A North Half to Madison Central last Tuesday. THS will send 11 out of 12 courts to individuals in Jackson Thursday and Friday.

GOLF: Girls state will be Monday-Tuesday at Clear Creek in Vicksburg; boys is Thursday-Friday at Lake Caroline in Madison.

TRACK: Both boys and girls track and field won Regionals at THS yesterday. Tupelo will travel to Madison Central Saturday for North Half.

 

BLANKETS OF THE WEEK:

  • Track standouts Mika Takahashi, Braxton Thomas, Reagan Cook, Asia Partlow, Christina Daniels, Heston Lollar, Rodney McIntosh, Jeremy Hinds, and Maalik Coleman all had impressive showings at last week’s track and field Regionals.

 

As always, follow @tbradenbishop or @TupeloHigh for updates and pertinent information regarding all Tupelo Golden Wave athletics. themblankets.com is also on Facebook. Be sure to Like us. #themblankets

Bottom of the seventh fireworks defeat defending 6A champions

TUPELO – On the whole, Tuesday was not the playoff warmup the Tupelo Golden Wave head baseball coach Gary Enis was looking for.

But the effort in the bottom of the seventh inning will do as a start.

Run-scoring hits by seniors Michael Ray and Ty Wheeler, and a hard ground ball to short by junior Woody Goss helped the Wave come from behind to edge the Southaven Chargers 7-6.\

“Nothing is coming easy for us,” Enis said. “On the positive side, this was a good comeback win.”

Tupelo, now 19-8, was trailing 6-4 entering the bottom of the seventh. Senior Hudson Roy started the rebound with a perfectly placed bunt for a hit, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Ray singled to center, scoring Roy.

Ray also advanced to second on a wild pitch, which was followed by a walk to William Ikerd. Then with two out, Wheeler placed a single into left to score Ray and tie the score at 6-6. That brought Goss to the plate, who laced a ground ball that the Chargers shortstop could not handle, scoring pinch runner Garrett Hill with the winning run.

“This was our first walk off win of the season, and we’ve had plenty of opportunities for those,” Enis said. “Our mentality needs to improve. We’re not possessing that mental edge right now.”

Tupelo has one more opportunity to gain some positive playoff momentum Friday, when they travel to Louisville for a 4 p.m. contest. Louisville won an 8-4 contest against Tupelo the second game of the season for the Wave. 

Both Tupelo and Louisville won their respective divisions, allowing them to matchup this weekend, while second and third place teams in every division and in every class square off in the playin round of the postseason. Tupelo will begin its playoffs May 1 in a best of three series against the winner of Horn Lake-Madison Central.

Tupelo began its effort Tuesday by grabbing a 3-0 lead through three innings. In the first inning, Roy struck out, but reached because of a wild pitch, eventually scoring on the Chargers third wild pitch of the inning. Then in the third, Matthew Miley doubled, scored on a Roy hit, and Roy scored on a Ray hit.

Southaven then scored a pair of runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to take a 4-3 lead. Tupelo knotted the score in the sixth as Luke Weeden walked, advanced on a Will Buse bunt and Goss single, and scored on a wild pitch. The Charger took a 6-4 lead in the top of the seventh on a hit batter, two hits, and an error.

Roy started the contest on the mound for the Wave, and pitched into the fifth inning. Buse came on in relief, eventually leaving in the seventh after facing one batter. Sophomore Drew Hurst got the final three outs.

Thanks to David Wheeler for the post. Read his specials in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and follow him on Twitter at @OldManDavid.

Review, Preview, and Blankets of the Week (April 20)

BASEBALL:  No. 11 Tupelo (18-8, 6-3) won their 23rd division title since 1990 Wednesday. With the win, they will host the Madison Central-Horn Lake winner in the 1st Round May 1st. This week, THS hosts Southaven Tuesday at 4 p.m. and TBD opponent Friday or Saturday. All games will stream LIVE at www.goldenwaveathletics.com.

FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL: THS (8-17, 0-5) defeated IAHS last week. They’ll host Hernando in the regular season finale Tuesday at 5 and 6:30.

TENNIS: Tupelo (11-3, 3-0) hosts Clinton Tuesday, April 22nd at Rob Leake Park at 2 p.m. If they win, THS will travel to Madison Central Wednesday for the 6A North title at 4 p.m. Team finals are April 30th, individuals are May 1-2.

GOLF: THS girls won last week’s division tournament over Starkville. The boys placed 2nd. Boys will travel to Greenville CC to battle Pillow Academy tomorrow. Girls state will be April 29-30, boys is May 1-2.

ARCHERY: THS placed 3rd in 6A last week in Jackson.

TRACK: Both boys and girls track and field won division at THS last week. THS will host regionals this Saturday.

FOOTBALL: THS will begin spring practice Tuesday. They’ll have 21 days to get in 15 practices.

#THS100: Tupelo High School will celebrate 100 years of Saturday, April 26th on the campus. Here’s more on the Centennial Celebration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ozzGKZoQ-A

 

BLANKETS OF THE WEEK:

  • Senior Reagan Aldridge and Abby Stafford are commended for their season leadership this season.
  • Golfers Michaela Bryan and Miles Johnson had strong showings at last week’s division tournaments.

As always, follow @tbradenbishop or @TupeloHigh for updates and pertinent information regarding all Tupelo Golden Wave athletics. themblankets.com is also on Facebook. Be sure to Like us.

#themblankets