LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Retif Oil rode a complete game from Mason Mayfield and an early offensive burst to eliminate Tupelo, Mississippi, 7-1 in the American Legion Mid-South Regional on Saturday night at Gary Hogan Field.
Retif (25-12) will face Columbia, Tennessee on Sunday.
Mayfield, who threw 118 pitches, allowed six hits and struck out eight. He retired nine consecutive hitters to end the game after the Tupelo 49ers scored their only run in the sixth inning to draw within 3-1.
“Outstanding,” Retif Manager Joey Latino said. “I certainly don’t expect any pitcher to go nine innings, and that wasn’t in the game plan tonight. But he kept getting stronger and kept making good pitches in key situations.”
Latino said he thought about pulling Mayfield after the seventh inning, but the right-hander wanted to remain in the game.
“He felt strong enough to go out for the eighth,” Latino said. “By the time the ninth rolled around, it’s just adrenaline and feeling good about what you’re doing and just getting the job done.”
Mayfield was staked to a 3-0, second-inning lead, just the start Latino said he was looking for against Tupelo, which was coming off a devastating 7-6 loss late Friday night to Columbia.
Tupelo led 6-0 entering the ninth inning, but Columbia scored seven runs — all with two outs — in the improbable victory.
“You want to jump on them early,” Latino said. “Look, that team went through a tremendous battle. Obviously, the lateness of the game, and all that, had taken its toll. Those three runs in the second inning were big.”
Retif finished with 10 hits, including two each from third baseman Nick Ray, first baseman Dan Edmund, catcher Trent Forshag and second baseman Brandon Briuglio.
Shortstop Alex Galy drove in two runs.
Leading 3-1, Retif pulled away with two runs in the seventh inning and two in the ninth.
The 49ers had finally broken through against Mayfield in the sixth inning.
Ty Wheeler scored when Woody Goss, with the bases loaded, beat a relay throw to first from Galy, who was trying to turn an inning-ending double play.
Mayfield got out of the inning with a fly-out to right field.
The 49ers also loaded the bases in the fourth inning, but Goss grounded out to Briuglio to end the threat.
Mayfield pitched around trouble in the first inning — stranding runners at second and third — by striking out Wheeler.
Retif used three hits and two walks to take a 3-0 lead in the second.
Designated hitter Scott Crabtree, who led off with a walk, scored on Harrison Daste’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Ben Hess followed with a single to right, and Matt Cedro walked to load the bases.
Ray chopped a ball over pitcher Cole Robinson’s head to score Briuglio, who had earlier singled.
Galy’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Hess to make it 3-0.
Robinson was the loser after allowing five runs, all earned, in seven innings.