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.