CROWLEY, La. — The Enid Majors got off to a nearly perfect start here Thursday with an 8-1 victory over Tupelo, Miss., in the opening round of the American Legion Mid-South Regional Tournament.

The defending national champion Majors got several clutch hits, a solid start from Matt Peck and a perfect relief effort from Derick Jantz as they cruised into a second-round game against the winner of the scheduled late game between Warrensburg, Mo., and Crowley, La.

Because of a lengthy rain delay, that game will be played this morning, and Enid’s second-round game likely will be played Saturday morning.

Austin Box celebrated his 18th birthday by blasting a solo homer in the fifth inning. It was Box’s sixth homer of the summer. He finished with two hits and three runs scored.

“Tyson (Seng) was telling me at the hotel that since it was my birthday I better do something special like hit a home run,” said Box. “I’m glad that kind of worked out for me.”

Enid scored six runs on four two-out base hits on a sweltering day at Miller Stadium. Game-time temperature was 98 degrees with high humidity.

The victory, which improved Enid to 41-21, allows the Majors to stay in the winners bracket and play night games the rest of the tournament as long as they keep winning.

“We played relaxed,” said Seng. “(Tupelo) looked like they had some pressure on them. There’s no pressure on us. No matter what happens here we’re still (Oklahoma) state champions. We’re doing a great job of keeping everything under control.”

Peck didn’t have his best stuff, but the right-hander had plenty to beat the 49ers. Peck allowed one run on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings to get the win and improve his record to 11-3.

The Majors turned a double play behind Peck in the fifth, and he got himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth by getting Jake Lee to look at strike three. Tupelo scored its only run on a wild pitch in the fourth.

“I started locating the fastball, and the curveball was working pretty good today,” said Peck.

Jantz retired all nine batters he faced in three innings, including three

on strikeouts.

“Derick did a wonderful job in relief again,” said Enid manager Bill Mayberry.

The Majors got on the board in the second inning when Box singled and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Chad Thies.

Cole Whatley put the Majors up 3-0 in the third inning with a two-out, two-run single up the middle.

Enid went up 5-1 in the fourth on a single up the middle by Seng and a double to right by Thomas Willson. Both hits came with two outs.

In the fifth, Box hammered a pitch from Tupelo left-hander Jason Howell over the left-center field fence into Woodlawn Cemetery, which is located behind the 12-foot fence.

Later in the fifth, Josh Moore gave Enid an 8-1 lead with a two-out, two-run single up the middle.

Jordon Kliewer, Seng, Box and Whatley each had two hits for the Majors.

Seng is slated to start the second game. Seng is 12-6 with a 2.93 ERA.

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