BYNG — If the Byng Pirates continued, to get this type of pitching, coach Chad Colbert’s crew could be a force in the Class A playoffs.
Junior Gage Fuller struck out seven, walked three and gave up one earned run in 4.2 innings of work to help the Pirates pounce on Tupelo 9-1 Thursday evening at Stokes Field.
Byng, ranked No. 7 in Class A, improved to 13-7 on the year, while Tupelo (No. 9 in Class B) left town at 9-7.
“I think (Fuller) gets better for us every time he steps on the rubber. I would have liked to have seen him finish a little bit stronger than he did, but he pitched a good game,” Colbert said.
Fuller retired the first nine batters he faced before giving up his first walk and first of four hits in the top of the fourth inning.
Tupelos’s Seth Foreman spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out, RBI double in the top of the fifth inning. The Tigers loaded the bases with a walk to Blain Ake before reliever Carson Capps needed just one pitch to get a flyout by Austin Vick that ended the game via the run-rule.
“Carson did a great job, just like he did against Dale the other day. He came in and helped us win the game,” Colbert said.
Byng scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning to get rolling early. Collin O’Grady led the inning off with a double, and Parker Presley and Reid Johnson each supplied two-RBI singles for Byng. The Pirates were aided by two of three Tupelo errors in the game.
Byng added five more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break the game open. That BHS outburst included a two-RBI hit by Easton Ray from the Byng nine-hole spot and RBI singles by Tyler Bargas and Seth Brecheen. Nolan Feazle added a bunt single in the frame, while Presley notched his third RBI of the game via a groundout.
Feaze finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Brecheen also added two hits for Byng. Trenton Shaw had a bunt hit, scored two runs and was also hit by a pitch twice.
Tupelo’s other hits came from Ake (1-2, James Beach (1-2) and JD Martinez (1-2).
The Pirates are at Red Oak at noon today to face the Class B No. 2 Eagles. Then it’s on to Class A District play Thursday at Stokes Field.
Byng meets Crowder at 2 p.m., Stuart battles Crowder at 4 p.m. and Byng plays Stuart at 6 p.m. The tournament resumes at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
“We’re hitting the ball well and throwing it well right now. Hopefully, we can keep this moving, especially next Thursday,” Colbert said. “You have No. 20 (Stuart) and No. 23 (Crowder) coming in, and they’ve beaten some good people. We can’t take them lightly. It’s not your normal district pairing.”
Things don’t get any easier for Tupelo. The Tigers are at Class A No. 1 Silo at 4 p.m. Monday.