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Tupelo baseball goes 1-1 in Jackson

The Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team ventured outside of the Northeast corner of the state for a pair games in the Jackson area Saturday, only coming away with a split, including a 6-4 loss Madison Central.

The Jaguars (6-7) were aggressive with their bats early, scoring in the first two innings to take a 3-0 lead. A single, a bunt, and an error set up a sacrifice fly for Central’s first run in the first. A double, two singles, and an error helped the Jaguars plate two more in the second.

Tupelo (11-4) bats finally woke up in the top of the fourth. Luke Weeden reached on an error, and Ty Wheeler singled, and William Ikerd singled to score Weeden. Later, pinch runner Tucker Whittenton scored on a Jason Garrett sac fly to pull the Wave within 3-2. Scoring went back and forth from this point.

Madison Central scored three in the fifth. Tupelo tried to respond with a two-run single by Woody Goss in the sixth.

“It all evened out in the end,” said Tupelo head coach Gary Enis of the Wave’s split for the day. “We learned enough today about the team to help, and we have a big week coming up. We had a fine performance from our offense against Ridgeland, and Jason Garrett pitched a fine game.

Tupelo did rebound in its second game of the day, downing the Class 5A Ridgeland Titans 9-2. The Wave offense punched out 12 hits, with Carter Clayton collecting three of them. And Garrett threw seven innings, scattering five hits.

Tupelo scored at least one run in every inning but the fourth, beginning with a two-run double by Ikerd in the first. Mickey Sesin scored on a double steal in the second, and Reed Taylor crossed the plate on an error off the bat of Wheeler in the third for a 4-0 lead.

In the fifth, Weeden tripled and scored on a Chase Cernigliaro hit. Michael Ray had a two-run triple, then scored on an Ikerd sac fly in the sixth. And in the seventh, Weeden doubled and scored on a Garrett ground out. Ridgeland (4-9) scored two in the bottom of the seventh.

“This is going to be the biggest week of the season for us,” said Enis, whose Wave are tied for first in Division 2-6A with Hernando, which they host Tuesday and travel to play Friday. “Some guys are going to have to step up.”

With both teams at 3-1 in the division, Tupelo will host Hernando (10-8) at 6 p.m. Tuesday. After traveling to Hernando Friday, Tupelo will host New Albany at 1 p.m. and play at Saltillo at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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

Tupelo sees Madison for the first time since 2011

Madison Central!

Not much else need be said when the Tupelo Golden Wave and the Madison Central Jaguars are pitted against each other in sports. That certainly applies to baseball, where Tupelo-Madison Central matchups have produced some memorable series.

But how about the regular season?

As a player and a coach, Gary Enis can not remember Madison Central on the regular season schedule for Tupelo. Until Saturday, when the Wave travel to the Jackson area for a pair of games that includes a noon pairing against the Jaguars. “It’s become a good rivalry,” said Enis, the Tupelo head coach. “It will be good to see how we match up with them.”

“I’m glad we’re playing them,” Tupelo senior Luke Weeden said. “This way we won’t be surprised when we play them in the playoffs.”

Tupelo, which was ranked No. 10 in the state this week by the Clarion Ledger, will be entering Saturday’s game off a disappointing 6-5 loss in eight innings Thursday to Divison 2-6A foe Grenada. Tupelo, now 10-3 overall, fell to 3-1 in division play, but is still in first place in league play. Within the timeframe of Thursday’s Grenada game, and Tuesday’s Hernando game, the Tupelo pitching staff might be stressed to varying degrees Saturday. Hudson Roy pitched Thursday. Luke Weeden pitched Thursday and Tuesday. And Carter Clayton should pitch Tuesday.

Who will pitch Saturday?

Sophomores Drew Hurst and Jason Garrett seem likely for Tupelo’s two games Saturday. Senior Ty Wheeler could be in the mix, as could juniors Garrett Hill or Graham Taylor.

“We’ve been fortunate that most of guys have pitched complete games,” Enis said. “We’re going to have to have some guys step up. We don’t have an idea who will start the two games Saturday.”

The last time Tupelo and Madison Central (5-6) matched up in baseball was 2011 in the semifinals of the Class 6A playoffs. That was a series Tupelo won in three games, advancing the Wave to the  championship series against Petal.

“Madison Central is a big rival of ours in 6A,” said senior Michael Ray, who played against the Jaguars in November in the 6A football playoffs. We get our bats going, it would be a big victory for us. Plus we always seem to play better against them.

“I think the Madison Central game on all our players minds is Game 3 from 2011 when William Goss threw out a runner at the plate to end the game,” said Enis, a game Tupelo won 5-4, and the current Wave seniors were only freshmen at the time.

“It is good to get a series going with Madison Central.”

The last weekend of the regular season, Madison Central will visit Tupelo for an April 18 game versus the Wave. Then on April 19, Madison Central stays in Tupelo, with the Wave and Jaguars each playing the No. 1 team in the state DeSoto Central.

Not to overlook the back end of the Wave’s Saturday doubleheader in the Jackson area. After the Madison Central noon contest, Tupelo will play Class 5 Ridgeland at 4 p.m. Ridgeland (4-7) won the 2011 5A state championship. Then to complete this four game test over six days, the Wave will host Hernando (9-7, 2-1) Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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 (March 23)

BASEBALL: Baseball (9-2) went 3-0 last week with two division wins over South Panola and a non division win at IAHS. They’ll continue division play this week by host Grenada Tuesday and traveling to GHS Friday. THS will travel to Jackson this weekend when they play at Madison Central (noon) and Ridgeland (2 p.m) Saturday. All games this week will stream LIVE at www.goldenwaveathletics.com.

FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL: Last week, softball (6-8) lost to Smithville, Hernando, Saltillo, and Neshoba Central but defeated Oxford. THS will host New Hope (6:30 p.m.) Tuesday, travel to Batesville (6:30 p.m.) Friday, and host Mooreville (2:30) Saturday.

TENNIS: THS (3-1, 2-0) defeated Grenada and South Panola to open division play. JV also defeated Oxford Wednesday. They’ll host Hernando Tuesday and travel to Jackson this weekend. It features at Northwest Rankin (1 p.m.) and Madison Central ( 4 p.m.) Friday, and at the Newton County Tournament Saturday.

GOLF: Boys golf finished tied for second at the Beau Chene Classic in Covington (LA) yesterday. Missouri signee Hayden Buckley and Mississippi State University signee Austin Rose made the All-Tourney team. Both teams will host New Albany and Amory tomorrow at Natchez Trace golf course, and New Albany, Oxford, and Baldwyn Thursday at TCC.

ARCHERY: Saltillo archery defeated THS, 3260-3028. Tupelo’s top shooters were Trevor Bates-Webb and Sarah Barron.

TRACK: THS will travel to the Wildcat Invitational in Meridian Saturday.

 

 

BLANKETS OF THE WEEK:

  • Pitchers Carter Clayton (2-1), Hudson Roy (4-0), and Drew Hurst (2-1) all earned complete-game wins last week.
  • 9th grader Kendall Brooks had 10 hits in 13 at-bats last week. Senior pitcher Reagan Aldridge picked up her first win of the season against Oxford.

 

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

#themblankets

Tupelo baseball outlasts IAHS

FULTON – The formula used by the Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team in recent wins has been pitching, defense, and timely hitting. If it is not broken, do not fix it.

Sophomore Drew Hurst pitched a complete game, and senior Luke Weeden had a crucial hit in the sixth inning as the Wave edged the Itawamba AHS Indians 2-1 Saturday.

This was the fifth the win in-a-row for Tupelo, which now claims a 9-2 record. “We’ll take it,” said Tupelo head coach Gary Enis of the victory. “These last three games, we’ve depended primarily on pitching and defense. That does win games, but we have to shore up our hitting.”

In the second start of his short varsity career, Hurst kept the Indians hitters off balance over the length of his seven innings. That included allowing only one Itawamba hit. That hit was a leadoff single to Trevan Quigley in the bottom of the fifth inning. Quigley moved to second on a balk, with Hurst turning his ankle on the play. A bunt moved the runner to third, and Quigley scored on a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.

The Tupelo offense woke up in its next at bat. Carter Clayton reached base on an error, then scored with two out on a wild pitch and an error. Chase Cernigliario then singled, stole second base, and scored the go ahead run on Weeden’s single to center.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Weeden said. “I knew Chase would score from second if I did.”

Hurst handled the remaining two innings in 1-2-3 fashion. That included a neat defensive effort by Cernigliario at second base on a ball up the middle in the bottom of the seventh.

“That was an excellent performance,” said Enis of the pitching effort of Hurst. “He was around the plate, and changed speeds. And when they did hit it hard, it was right at us.” The Tupelo offense did collect six hits on the day.

Tupelo returns to its Division 2-6A schedule Tuesday, hosting Grenada (6-3, 0-2). Tupelo will then be on the road at Grenada Friday, and play a tough Saturday pairing at Madison Central and at Ridgeland.

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

Tupelo’s Carter Clayton pitches division-opening gem

BATESVILLE – There was a sense of purpose abut the Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team Tuesday. The squad had not won a division opener in two seasons.

The Wave ended that streak, surviving a good pitchers duel, scratching out runs to back the complete game of senior Carter Clayton to claim a 3-1 victory over the South Panola Tigers in the Division 2-6A opener for both teams.

“I thought the key tonight was Carter Clayton,”Tupelo head ooach Gary Enis said. “On the road, and even after the long layoff between starts, he was sharp. After the first week of division play a year ago, we were 0-2, so it was good to get this win.”

Making his second start of the season, Clayton scattered 3 hits while striking out five and only walking one.

“We’re real excited to get this win,” Clayton said. “This pushes us off to a good start in division play.”
And while the Tupelo (7-2, 1-0) offense was mostly held in check by South Panola (6-4, 0-1) stater Austin Towles, the Wave were able to manufacture enough runs for the victory.

South Panola cracked the scoreboard first, in the bottom of the first. Dashawn Lindsay connected for a one-out double to left, eventually scoring on a passed ball with two away for the 1-0 Tigers lead. Tupelo squared the affair in the top of the third as Hudson Roy reached base on an error, as did Clayton. Roy then scored as Clayton was caught in a rundown.

Tupelo then tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning,  Reed Taylor was hit by a pitch, then scored on a triple by Roy down the right field line. Michael Ray then lofted a sacrifice fly to score Roy, and the Wave made the advantage stand up.

“This was great for our team,” said Roy, who will be the starting pitcher Friday when the Wave host the Tigers at 6 p.m. “I’m looking forward to getting the ball. South Panola is a good hitting team, and I’ll have to work hard.”

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

Baseball opens division play in Batesville tonight

The real season is here for the Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team.

The Wave open Division 2-6A play today/Tuesday when they travel to Batesville to face South Panola. “I think the last two games we’ve played well, but we’re looking to turn it up a notch now,” said head coach Gary Enis, whose Wave are coming off recent wins over Lake Cormarant and Oxford. “We need to be more focused on what needs to be done.”

Game time for the varsity matchup is set for 6 p.m., with junior varsity playing at 4 p.m. Tupelo enters this contest with a 6-2 record, while South Panola has posted a 6-3 effort.

The two teams will also be pitted against each other Friday in Tupelo, with 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. game times as well.
A season ago, Tupelo managed a 6-3 division record, good enough to claim the 2-6A No. 1 seed. But the Wave did lose two of three to South Panola.

“I know South Panola has both of their starting pitchers back from last year,”Enis said.

This season, the Tigers boast two pitchers with 0.00 ERAs. Austin Towles has thrown 7.2 innings, and Macen McGee 7.0 innings. Also, Hunter Ivy is 2-0 with a 2.52 ERA over 8.1 innings.

Enis expects to start senior Carter Clayton for the road game. Clayton has thrown 16.1 innings on the young season, including an epic 10 innings versus Pontotoc, a game Tupelo won in 12 innings.

On Friday, senior Hudson Roy will get the nod, boasting a 3-0 record, having only allowed one run in his 19 innings thus far. Offensively for the Wave, the bat of senior Ty Wheeler is at a .464 batting average, and leads the team in extra base hits. Roy is at .400, with senior Michael Ray starting shake off a slow start at .360. Junior William Ikerd leads the team in RBIs at nine. “I’m proud of our senior leadership this season, but we still have room to improve,” Enis said. “I want consistency, and I want this team to put fear in the mind of other teams. We’re not there yet.”

South Panola has Dashawn Lindsay at .467, with Ivy at .462 with the bat.

Also on the schedule this week, the Wave will be in Fulton Saturday to face Itawamba AHS (5-4) in a varsity only contest starting at noon.

Tupelo will continue division play with a pair of games against Grenada (5-1) the week of March 24, and Hernando (6-5) the week of March 31.

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 (March 16)

BASEBALL: Baseball (6-2) went 1-1 at Oxford’s Spring Break Tournament, lost to Southaven but defeated Lake Cormorant. Head coach Gary Enis also earned his 250th career win Friday  when THS beat Oxford. Tupelo will open Division 2-6A play at South Panola Tuesday, host the Tigers Friday, and travel to IAHS for a varsity only game Saturday at noon. All three games this week will stream LIVE at www.goldenwaveathletics.com.

FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL: Softball (3-4) went 1-1 at last week’s South Pontotoc tournament, losing to the Lady Cougars but defeating Water Valley. They will have a busy schedule this week. The Lady Wave travels to Smithville Tuesday, open Division 2-6A play at Hernando Thursday, travel to Saltillo Friday, and host the Tupelo Tourney at Veteran’s Park Saturday.

TENNIS: THS (1-1) opens division-play by hosting Grenada at Rob Leake Park Tuesday,  JV only will host Oxford Wednesday, and varsity will travel to South Panola Thursday. All matches begin at 4 p.m.

GOLF: THS boys/girls host Lewisburg, Itawamba, Starkville at Natchez Trace golf course Monday, host Corinth, Pontotoc, and Ingomar at Tupelo Country Club Tuesday (boys only), and travel to Covington (LA) for the Beau Chene Invitational Saturday and Sunday (boys only).

ARCHERY: THS (1-0) will travel to Saltillo Monday at 5:30 p.m.

TRACK: Track and field will compete in the Ole Miss Invitational in Oxford Friday.

RIPTIDE: Tupelo’s Riptide ensemble placed 2nd overall at yesterday’s WGI competition in Hattiesburg. It was Tupelo’s first group to ever compete.

 

BLANKETS OF THE WEEK:

  • Senior Ty Wheeler went 6 for 9 with two RBIs in three games last week. Wheeler is currently batting .464 with 13 hits, eight singles, five doubles, four walks, and five RBIs this season. Sophomore Drew Hurst pitched in his first career start and earned the win over Lake Cormorant.
  • Powerlifters Satsha Burden, Otis Wilson, James Gilleylen, and Tavonta Hadley qualified for state finals April 5th.
  • Jeremy Hendrix, a sophomore, has done well for the Riptide indoor percussion ensemble. He does a phenomenal job working and going above and beyond to make sure he didn’t disappoint anyone. Jason Grant, a sophomore, is a newcomer that was invited by his friends to test the waters of the Riptide indoor percussion ensemble. He has gone full speed and has never looked back. Jason works very hard on and off the scene.

 

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

#themblankets

Sophomore goes the distance for Tupelo

OXFORD – Tupelo Golden Wave bats were very much alive for the second straight night Wednesday. And sophomore Drew Hurst pitched for the second-straight night. That was a winning combination for the Wave.

Tupelo rebounded from a tough loss Tuesday with a 13-hit effort against Lake Cormarant, and Hurst pitched a complete game to help the Wave claim a 9-2 victory over the Class 5A Gators.

“I’m glad to get the win,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “Drew Hurst did what he had to do, and the team did what it had to do. It was a great bounce-back win.”

Tupelo was bouncing back from a 14-13 defeat at the hands of Southaven Tuesday. Southaven scored a pair of runs in the sixth and final inning of that contest, with Hurst pitching to the final five batters in the loss. “Hurst had been throwing well in scrimmages,” Enis said. “We decided to give him a chance tonight, and hopefully we can build on that.”

The Tupelo offense began building its lead in the bottom of the first inning. Three straight singles by Carter Clayton, Michael Ray, and Ty Wheeler plated two runs. The Wave pushed across two more runs in the second inning, with Ray connecting on a two-run double for a 4-1 lead. And Tupelo added a run in the fourth on a run-scoring ground out by Clayton. After giving up a first inning run, Hurst settled down with the lead in hand, and solid defensive play.

Lake Cormarant added a solo run in the fifth, but Tupelo bats had a response. Pinch hitter Jason Garrett drew a bases loaded walk to push the Tupelo advantage to 6-2 through five innings. Then in the sixth inning, Tupelo scored three on five hits, with Clayton, Ray, and Luke Weeden getting RBIs.

The game was called with one out in the sixth because of time limit.

Tupelo is scheduled to return to action Saturday, hosting Oxford. But the weather forecast might prompt the matchup to be moved to Friday, with the determination being made sometime Thursday.

The Wave open Division 2-6A play Tuesday on the road against South Panola.

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

Tupelo hits can’t beat Southaven

OXFORD – The Tupelo Golden Wave baseball team had some hot bats, but in the end were on the cold end of a 14-13 loss Tuesday to the Southaven Chargers in action in the Oxford Spring Break Tournament.

Tupelo (4-2) out hit Southaven (2-2-1) 15 to 10, but the Chargers scored eight runs in their last two at bats, including two in the bottom of the sixth, to claim the win. “This was just a tough loss for the team,” Tupelo head coach Gary Enis said. “we’ve got to be able to hold the lead, and we were not able to do that.”

Tupelo had as much as a 12-6 lead against the defending Class 6A State Champions, but saw Southaven score six runs in the fifth to tie the score.

In the top of the sixth, Ty Wheeler ripped a one-out double. Tucker Whittenton came in to pinch run, and scored on William Ikerd’s single to give the Wave a 13-12 lead. Tupelo later loaded the bases with one out, but failed to score further. Because of a time limit, the sixth inning was to be the last with a winner, and Southaven made sure of that.

A leadoff single set up a bunt situation, which Tupelo committed an error on allowing one run to score, with the batter ending up on third. Following and infield pop out, a short fly to right was caught by a diving Matthew Miley, but the run scored for the Southaven win.

“Southaven put pressure on us by making contact and working the count for walks,” Enis said. “We had double-digit hits, and I’m very proud of that, but as a coach, you want better. Leaving the bases loaded in the sixth, that hurt.”

Five straight hits to lead off the top of the first to score four Wave runs,  with RBI hits by Michael Ray, Wheeler, Ikerd, and Cernigliaro. Tupelo pushed across five runs in the third, on a double steal, and RBI hits by Ikerd, Miley, Woody Goss, and Hudson Roy. The Wave added three more in the fourth on a double steal, and RBI hit by Cernigliaro, and a sac fly by Luke Weeden. Wheeler had four hits for the Wave.

Tupelo used five pitchers in the contest, with Wheeler starting, followed by Weeden, Garrett Hill, Graham Taylor, and Drew Hurst. For Wheeler, Weeden, and Hurst, it was their first pitches thrown of the 2014 season. Southaven also scored two in the first, and four in the second.

Tupelo is at it again Wednesday against Lake Cormarant in Oxford.

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