TUPELO • The Pontotoc Red Sox slugged their way to a massive comeback in their tournament opener on Thursday.
Pontotoc defeated Tennessee’s Columbia Post 19, 8-7, in the opening game of the King City Classic at Golden Wave Field. Pontotoc spread out 10 hits as it overcame a five-run deficit.
The Red Sox trailed 6-1 in the bottom of the first inning after allowing five hits and making two errors. Columbia had two extra-base hits in the inning, including a big three-run home run by Caleb Crowell.
Pontotoc (15-2) scored two runs in the second inning to cut the deficit to three and used a five-run fourth to take the only lead it needed in the game.
“Columbia has a good ball team. Anytime you beat them, you’ve done something,” Pontotoc coach Nickey Browning said. “We never quit. We have a tendency to somehow or another get a hit or get a pitch at the right time.”
Pontotoc’s starter gave up five runs in the bottom of the first and only recorded one out before Browning brought in ICC’s Blaine Ware, who led the state of Mississippi in ERA this season at South Panola.
Ware threw 5 2/3 innings and allowed one earned run and only four hits.
“I put my lefty in and he did a great job,” Browning said. “He’s going to throw fastballs, change ups and curveballs, and he knows how to place them all.”
At the plate, Cade Spratlin (Bruce, Northwest CC) had two big hits for the Red Sox. He had a RBI double and scored in the top of the second to cut the deficit to 6-3, then cut the deficit to 6-5 in the top of the fourth with a two-run home run.
He finished 2 for 3 at the plate with two runs and three RBIs.
“I think we were just getting up to the plate being aggressive and trying to hit the first pitch,” Spratlin said. “I hadn’t really been seeing the ball well this summer but I got in there trying to hit first pitch fastball and it worked out for me.”
Kylan Carter followed Spratlin’s home run with an RBI single and McGreger Lee put Pontotoc on top, 8-6, with a two-run double.