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.
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.”