Jun. 30—TUPELO — Through the first 11 games, Tupelo 49ers head coach McKinley Holland is seeing just how important having a top-notch pitching staff is to winning games.
The Tupelo roster has a plethora of arms it can turn to and it’s paying off in the win column. Holland has used 11 pitchers thus far, resulting in a 3.21 team ERA and a 9-2 record.
“We’ve thrown the ball exceptionally well through 11 games. That’s something that I felt confident about coming in,” said Holland.
Tupelo features arms like EMCC sophomore Cade Davis, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound right-hander from Ripley who has started the summer strong. But a common theme throughout the 49ers team are two-way players like Davis Oswalt, Jackson McCoy, Stone Collier and J.W. Armistead that are producing both at the plate and on the mound.
“That’s the luxury of this team,” Holland said of the versatility. “All of those guys have played a big role in what we’ve done so far.”
As a team, the 49ers are batting .306, and while noting that’s a pretty good mark, Holland hopes to see his team improve in that area to match the production from the pitching staff.
“The offense has not met the standard that I’d like them to play at yet, but they’re getting there,” said Holland. “Mixing guys around, seeing what works, where to put them in the order, things like that is all kind of factored in.”
The 49ers picked up a pair of wins over the Panola Pirates on Monday night. Tupelo began the season winners of its first five games, taking the Mayfield American Legion Invitational in Kentucky.
Even with the early success, Holland still wants to see more as the lineup is tinkered with as they move forward.
“With a team like this, expectations are hard to judge early on, because just like any year with Legion, it takes us about 15 to 20 games to understand the identity that we have or what we’ve got,” said Holland.
Tupelo travels next to Columbia, Tennessee, for the Independence Day Classic that begins on Thursday. Tupelo will compete in Pool B with the Baldwyn Blue Aces. The Pontotoc Red Sox are in Pool A.