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Loaded Red Sox sweep through opening weekend

PONTOTOC – The Pontotoc Red Sox opened their American Legion season without the benefit of a practice. But with such a loaded roster, that wasn’t a problem.

The Red Sox (3-0) opened their 2024 campaign by winning all three of their games in the Pontotoc Senior Legion Invitational, including a 12-1 five-inning victory against Lafayette Post 55 on Saturday afternoon.

Pontotoc beat Panola 2-0 on Thursday and Baldwyn 13-1 on Friday.

Against Lafayette, Pontotoc tallied nine hits, and 12 players reached base at least once.

“Most of these guys are the top one or two guys on their high school teams, and that’s the way we look at them throughout the year. We travel and we see them,” head coach Scott Cummings said. “… All these guys, we’ve handpicked them.”

The Sox blew open a 4-1 game with a six-run third inning. The first two runs scored on wild pitches, and then Eli Holloway roped a two-run single, with another runner scoring on an error on the play.

Chipper Moore added an RBI single for 10-1 lead. Kouper Shook smashed a two-run double in the fourth.

“We started off slow the first game, but pitching’s been really good and kept us in every game,” Holloway said. “The bats woke up the last couple of games, and it’s going to give us confidence next weekend, which is a big tournament for us.”

Hayes Daniel started on the mound for Pontotoc. Over three innings, he allowed one run on one hit with five strikeouts and three walks. Jackson Harmon and Steele Brooks each pitched a scoreless frame in relief.

“You’ve got to have pitching, and our objective this weekend was to get about 50 pitches per guy, and we got that done,” Cummings said.

Lafayette (0-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Collin Waldrip scored on a wild pitch. Pontotoc answered in the bottom half with two runs and got two more in the second.

The Red Sox return to action next weekend in the Twin Lakes Classic at Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Extra Bases

Big Inning: Pontotoc sent 10 batters to the plate in the third.

Big Stat: Holloway went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Coach Speak: “I was proud of the way they competed all weekend, especially as short as we were – only had nine players all three games. Kind of hard to get through three games when you’ve got nine kids.” – Lafayette’s Drew McGehee