Oxford baseball gets critical division win over Tupelo
Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2019
The Oxford Chargers (13–7) battled with the Tupelo Golden Wave (13-5) at Edwin Moak Field on Tuesday night, stringing together enough clutch hits and work good at bats to defeat Tupelo 6-3.
On the mound, Oxford got a complete game performance from sophomore Hayes Roth who was sensational against the divisional rival. Roth threw over 100 pitches while only allowing three earned runs and striking out five.
“Early on I thought he was pretty good,” head coach Chris Baughman said. “I didn’t think he had his best stuff and he struggled in the middle. He minimized damage in the fifth, but he was out there thinking a little bit about situation in a tie ballgame.”
According to Baughman, he just told Roth to go out and compete. Roth finished a fifth inning where the Golden Wave scored a run and threatened to add more, but he followed that up by commanding the sixth and seventh innings to clinch a big region win for Oxford.
“He needed to get back in the strike zone,” Baughman said. “He went out and competed like I asked him to, and he just seemed to get stronger from that point on. We kept him and Eli [Wicker] on a pitch count early in the year, because we knew we were going to need them to extend them in games like this one.”
Offensively, Oxford was able to work long at bats and draw four walks on the game. The chargers produced three runs in the sixth inning due to multiple walks and a hit by pitch issued by the Golden Wave.
“Every day in practice we work two strike approach,” Baughman said. “We tell them if they get down in the count to just dig in and fight. I just wanted them to want it more than Tupelo did tonight, and I thought we did that all the way around.”
Oxford also got key contributions from some of their underclassmen. Sophomore Lock Elliott hit 2-3 with a double and one RBI. Freshman Ty Wicker made some tough defensive plays to get Oxford out of some tough innings.
“We knew we were going to be really inexperienced this year,” Baughman said. “By game 20 you are not inexperienced anymore. Lock isn’t a sophomore now he’s a junior and we expect him to step up. Ty Wicker was cool, calm, and collected all night. We have been talking about that all year with people stepping up in big time situations.”
— Story via Walker Bailey