TUPELO • The real Pontotoc Red Sox eventually showed up last Thursday night.
After suffering a 12-0 loss in the opener, Pontotoc got the bats going early in the nightcap, taking a 6-3 win over Tupelo to gain a split of the Legion baseball doubleheader at Golden Wave Field.
The Red Sox (2-2) scored twice in the first inning then added three more runs in the third for a 5-1 lead.
“That was a good win for us, because it gives us a little more confidence that we can come out here,” coach Nickey Browning said.
Ty Roberson gave Pontotoc a 3-1 lead in the third with a single, and then Channing Lackey jerked the very next pitch over the right field wall for a two-run homer.
The Red Sox had four hits in the inning after having just two the entire first game.
Lackey said a more aggressive approach at the plate sparked the offense.
“It seemed like he was throwing a lot of straight first-pitch fastballs, and I got one to hit. So I took a hack at it,” Lackey said of his homer.
Pontotoc also got better pitching in Game 2. Browning saved some of his better arms for the nightcap, with Logan Stewart and Micah Johnston (Ripley) combining for a three-hitter in the five-inning game.
Stewart struck out four in 3 1/3 innings, and then Johnston got the game’s final five outs without allowing a baserunner.
“The little Stewart kid pitched good to be a junior next year,” Browning said. “He’s going to be a really good ball player.”
Stone Collier took the loss for Tupelo (3-1). He gave up two runs on two hits in two innings.
The 49ers cut Pontotoc’s lead to 5-3 in the fourth inning when Bowen Carlock stroked a two-run double. That chased Stewart, and Carlock was stranded after Johnston recorded back-to-back strikeouts.
Pontotoc added an insurance run in the fifth on another RBI single by Roberson.
Big Inning: Bailey Albritton led off the third inning with a single and moved to second on Peeko Townsend’s single. Roberson and Lackey then followed with their big hits.
Big Stat: After issuing 11 walks in Game 1, Pontotoc’s pitchers only had two in Game 2.
Coach Speak: “They’re going to bring it, especially after a loss like the first game, they’re going to come out and play hard the second game. This rivalry’s always been like that.” – Tupelo coach McKinley Holland