TUPELO Tupelo can’t say it didn’t have enough chances.

The 49ers never could find the big hit they needed in a 3-1 loss to Tuscaloosa Post 34 on Friday morning in the opening round of the King City Classic.

The game started Thursday night but was suspended by rain. It was tied 1-1 when play resumed in the second inning.

Tupelo (10-8) loaded the bases with one out in both the fourth and fifth innings, and it had two runners in scoring position in the seventh.

But Tuscaloosa’s Justin Dyer worked out of trouble each time.

“He wasn’t overpowering, but he hit his spots and he didn’t walk anybody,” Tupelo coach McKinley Holland said. “You do that, nine times out of 10 you’re going to win a lot of ballgames.”

Tupelo stranded 12 baserunners.

Dyer (4-0), who scattered nine hits over seven innings, was able to mix his pitches and got a lot of mileage out of a sharp curveball.

“I like to change it up sometimes just to make a different approach for the batters,” Dyer said.

Eli Benton broke the tie in the sixth when he blasted a two-run homer off Davis Oswalt (Nettleton). Jordan Moore led off the inning with a single and moved up on a Christian Jones sac bunt.

Oswalt (2-1) allowed five hits and walked none in seven frames.

“We really couldn’t string any hits together today,” Tuscaloosa coach Zane Tyra said. “I’ll take a home run to win the game.”

Having to play in the morning meant the 49ers were without a few players who had to work, plus one was sick. Holland wasn’t using that as an excuse.

“We’ve got 18 on the roster for that reason. It’s a next-guy-up deal,” he said.

Ramsey Ivy (Northeast CC, New Site) had three hits for Tupelo, which played the North Mississippi Indians in a late game on Friday.

brad.locke@journalinc.com Twitter: @bradlocke

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