AMORY — Five runs in the first inning were all it took for the Amory Panthers to claim Game 1 of its Class 4A second round matchup against the Lafayette Commodores 5-3 on Friday.
Following a wild pitch from pitcher Jarrett Patton that plated Amory catcher Zack Randolph, and a hit-by-pitch that loaded the bases, Amory outfielder John Randle blasted a fastball over the center field wall to put the Panthers ahead 5-0.
Patton settled down after the grand slam and did not allow another Panther to reach home safely to keep his Commodores in the game.
Lafayette jumped on the scoreboard in the third inning courtesy of a two-run home run from Luke McCullough, and in the fourth inning LHS plated another run on a Tyler Mize fly ball that scored John Jeffrey Nelson from third base.
The Commodores had chances in the fifth and sixth innings to at least pull the game closer, but were unable to drive in runners from third base in both innings.
In the fifth inning, Luke Stanley was thrown out at home on an attempted steal with two outs. In the next frame, Hunter Robinson reached third courtesy of an error to lead off the sixth, but the Commodores were sat down in order to end the threat.
Pitcher Will Cox (12-0 overall) appeared to make the difference for the Panthers.
The junior right-hander, who entered the game 0.39 ERA, allowed just six hits and one walk while striking out nine batters.
Patton (5-1) was tagged with his first loss of the season, allowing the five runs on eight hits while striking out four.
The best-of-three series resumes Saturday, with the Commodores hosting Amory at 6:30 p.m.
Blake Witt will get the start for Lafayette, while Drew Pickle will take the hill for Amory. (May 7, 2010)