During my brief phone interview with Amory Panthers head baseball coach Chad Williams on Thursday (for this article regarding Will Cox) it was brought up how the Lafayette Commodores have shown a lot of character and grit this season.
Even when the Commodores have gotten down early, as they did on Friday, they’ve been able to bounce back and stay in the game.
“I’ve called around and asked a lot of coaches… (Lafayette is) a scrappy team, they’re never going to quit and they play until the last out,” Williams said on Thursday after his team had finished its practice. “When everyone says that, it’s a testament to that coach.”
On Friday, the Commodores showed the mental toughness Williams expected. After falling behind 5-0, Lafayette didn’t get down. LHS pitcher Jarrett Patton not only settled down to get the next three Panthers batters in order, but he didn’t even allow a base runner past second base the rest of the game.
“He was just pumping it in there like we talked about. He was just rearing back and here it comes, hit it if you can,” LHS coach Greg Lewis said after the game. “It looked like he gained a little speed; after three innings he gained a little bit. He may not have on the gun, but it looked like it from (the dugout). He also got his split (finger pitch) working a little bit and that helped him out and got him some ground balls.”
Lafayette was able to score three runs to make it a game, but was unable to push two runners across home in the fifth and sixth innings, eventually losing 5-3.
On Saturday, the Commodores once again fell behind early, but this time they were able to rally with a three-run second inning to pull ahead for good.
Lewis told EAGLE Sports Editor John Davis on Saturday, the Commodores are expecting to see AHS ace Will Cox when the two teams play the decisive Game 3 in Amory on Monday.
In Friday’s game, Cox was as good as advertised, striking out nine in the complete game win.
TAKING IN THE GAME: Oxford assistant baseball coach Chris Baughman was in Amory for the game on Friday. Baughman is an Amory native and won a state title with the Panthers in ’99 as a pitcher.
Baughman, who is friends with both Lewis and Williams, joked with both coaches he was going to be impartial and wear half red and half black. He opted for his usual Oxford High colors.
STEALING HOME: During the fifth inning of Friday’s game, Luke Stanley was thrown out at home on an attempted steal with Hunter Robinson at the plate. The would-be run would have brought the score to 5-4 in favor of Amory. Instead, Cox delivered the pitch and catcher Zack Randolph was able to apply the bang-bang tag for the out to end the frame. Here is what Lewis had to say about the tough play:
“We were stealing the plate right there and didn’t feel like we had anything to lose. We’ve done it a bunch this year. That was probably our fifth or sixth time this year. We didn’t do what we were supposed to do at the plate. We were supposed to swing right there and if we get catcher’s interference we go right back. He forgot to swing so we don’t get the catcher’s interference and we get called out. We executed it like we wanted to, we just forgot to swing right there.”
(May 9, 2010)