PONTOTOC- The Pontotoc Red Sox American Senior Legion baseball team split a pair of games at the Pontotoc Tournament last Thursday to kick off their 2019 summer schedule.
After falling to Tupelo 12-8 in a wild, back and forth contest to open the tournament, the Red Sox knocked off the North Mississippi Indians 7-5 in the nightcap.
Against Tupelo, Pontotoc was tied 2-2 with the 49ers after scoring on errors in the second and third innings before they put a 6-run frame together in the bottom of the fifth against new Niner pitcher Hayden Goodson, who entered in relief of Bowen Carlock.
Ethan Dyer (North Pontotoc) reached on an error, and Kylan Carter (Houston) was hit by a pitch before Kelton Hall (Ingomar) singled to load the bases. Peco Townsend (Pontotoc High School) then drew a walk to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Blaine Ware (South Panola) lifted an RBI sacrifice fly to score courtesy runner Colton Peel (Houston). Bailey Albritton (Grenada) singled to right field to plate Hall, and, with two outs, Carson Gault (Ingomar) launched a 3-run homer to make it an 8-2 game.
Tupelo pushed three across in the top of the sixth to trim the deficit to 8-5, and the Red Sox were not able to add to their advantage after stranding a runner at second base in the bottom of sixth. The 49ers then exploded for a decisive 7 runs in the top of the seventh.
The 49ers led off the frame with singles from Rhett Smith and Evan McCarthy before Hayden Roberts drew a walk. Hammer Franks then lined triple down the left field line to bring in three runs and tie the game. Goodson plated Franks with an RBI single, and, after the inning was prolonged with a two-out walk to Hayden Scarbrough, Will Armistead made it 12-8 with a 3-run home run. Franks closed out the time limit shortened game in the bottom of the seventh for Tupelo, picking up the win on the mound. Franks also finished with 3 hits, a triple, a home run and 4 RBI.
In the second game of the night the Red Sox took on the North Mississippi Indians based out of Amory's American Legion post, a team with large number of Pontotoc County players on its roster. The Indians took the early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run single from Avery Benson.
The Red Sox would climb ahead in the bottom of the second. Peco Townsend led off the inning with a monstrous solo homer to right center field, followed by walks to Ware and Albritton. A sacrifice bunt by McGregor Lee put runners on second and third, and Gault singled to drive in Ware. Carter would drew a walk to load the bases, and Dyer produced a two-RBI single to bring in Albritton and Gault for a 4-2 lead.
Pontotoc would add a pair of runs in the third inning on an RBI ground out by Albritton and an error to go up 6-2. The Indians would climb back into the game, however, scoring on a RBI single from Sheffield Anthony (North Pontotoc) that plated Alan Hall (South Pontotoc) and an RBI ground out to cut it to 6-4. They would later cut the Pontotoc lead to 6-5 in the top of the fifth with an RBI sacrifice fly from Ethan Carnes (Pontotoc High School). Red Sox pitcher Kelton Hall preserved the lead by stranding the potential tying run in scoring position to end the inning.
The Red Sox would add an insurance run in the fifth when Albritton drove in Hall with an RBI single, and, despite the Indians getting a pair of runners on base in the top of the sixth, Hall closed out the 7-5 win on the mound, recording all three outs via strikeout.
On Sunday afternoon the Red Sox defeated the Mid-South Expos 10-3 in the tournament finale to move to 2-1 on the young season.