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.