Tupelo, energized by underdog status, gets past Tallahassee


Mississippi Tupelo 49ers pitcher Bowen Carlock threw six-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits and four walks and struck out a batter Thursday night. (Photo by Mike Camunas)
By Mike Camunas

TAMPA — Despite a three-hour delay, the Mississippi Tupelo 49ers still had energy.

"Oh, we had (the energy) since the first inning," 49ers second baseman Ramsey Ivy said. "We beat them in energy — they played a good game, we just had more energy despite the delay."

As Tupelo and Florida Tallahassee Post 13 stood for the National Anthem, the sky above the University of Tampa Baseball Stadium opened up and dumped an insane amount of water onto the field, delaying the game three hours until Spartans coach Joe Urso and crew could remedy the flooding on the field.

Mississippi Tupelo 49ers catcher Hayden Austin Scarbrough stands on second during Game 7 of the of the American Legion Southeast Region Baseball Tourney vs. Florida Tallahassee Post 13. (Photo by Mike Camunas)

But that didn't deter Tupelo, which held on in a barnburner to defeat Tallahassee 7-4 in Game 7 of the American Legion Southeast Region Baseball Tourney.

"But, you know," 49ers coach McKinley Holland said, "coming into this tournament with just 12 guys and being called the underdog and playing as the underdog — because we keep hearing every game we play that team is the frontrunner to win it, well, the guys take that personally, so they've used that to keep their energy up."

Florida Tallahassee Post 13 pitcher Sammy Loveday pitches during the Game 7 of the of the American Legion Southeast Region Baseball Tourney vs. Mississippi Tupelo. (Photo by Mike Camunas)

Tupelo turned to RHP Bowen Carlock, who proceeded to pitch effectively Thursday night by allowing just two runs on six hits, while walking four and striking out one over six-plus innings.

"He is an absolute bulldog, man," Holland added. "He hasn't pitched in two weeks for us, but he's usually the first guy out of the pen for us. He's warmed up five times, but never got in. He was absolutely ready tonight."

Tupelo took a quick lead thanks to a Shawn Dalton Weatherbee RBI to drive in Mackenzie Scruggs. Tied at 2 in the fourth inning, the 49ers put up a three spot thanks to an RBI single by Connor Davis to score Scruggs, while Ramsey Ivy drove in two more.

"We just played with more energy," Ivy said. "It showed in the fourth."

Mississippi Tupelo 49ers infielder Mackenzie William Scruggs looks down a pitch during Game 7 of the of the American Legion Southeast Region Baseball Tourney vs. Florida Tallahassee Post 13. (Photo by Mike Camunas)

Hayden Austin Scabrough scored on a misplay at second when there wasn't a Tallahassee player to catch a throw down from the catcher and then the 49ers got a bases-loaded walk to extend the lead to 7-2.

However, in the seventh, Tallahassee put together a bases loaded threat without even swinging the bat. Andy Dean "Hammer" Franks came on in relief, but gave up a 2 RBI single to Joe Ruth.

Though "Hammer" Franks lived up to his nickname and put down, well, just that and struck out the final batter of the game.

"We're real proud of our guys," Holland said. "They've got a lot of resolve and they're not going to quit fighting, I know that."

- Mike Camunas is a longtime veteran journalist who is always seeking true stories, trained under J. Jonah Jameson and takes better photos of Spider-Man than Peter Parker. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeCamunas

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