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.