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.