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Thursday, September 18, 2014

BLOG: Knights sweep Lafayette out of playoffs

BLOG — Lafayette’s baseball season came to an end Saturday night with a 5-4 loss at West Lauderdale.

West Lauderdale (29-2) took the opener of the best-of-three Class 4A playoff series 9-4 in Oxford on Friday and plated the go-ahead run Saturday in the bottom of the sixth when Eli Murphree’s pitch caromed off catcher Jake McPhail’s mitt and got far enough away for the runner to score from third with two outs.

It’s exactly how the Knights drew it up, Lafayette coach Patrick Robey said.

“It was a designed play,” Robey said. “The hitter faked a bunt, but he kept the bat in the path of the pitch as long as he could and blocked the catcher’s view just long enough to get a deflection off the mitt. That was it.”

Lafayette (20-11) broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the the top of the third and held a 4-2 lead after four innings, but the Commodores, who outhit the Knights 8-5, missed out on chances to scratch out more offense. Lafayette had a runner thrown out at the plate and another picked off third base.

West Lauderdale drew even with two runs in the home half of the fifth, ending the night for Commodore starter T.J. Hollis, who allowed three earned runs on four hits while walking three and striking out two. Murphree gave up one hit and fanned one in the sixth.

“We needed to play nearly perfect, and there was a couple of mistakes that we made that just cost us,” Robey said. “We played well, we just didn’t play quite well enough. … Our guys competed hard. We’ve got a heck of a group coming back next year, so our kids are excited for the future of our team.”

Ryan Lane scattered eight hits, surrendered a pair of earned runs and worked around five walks in six innings to pick up the win. Colton McKeithen pitched the seventh for the save.

John Murphree, Devon Thomas and  Hunter Bishop each had two hits for Lafayette. John Murphree and Bishop drove in a run apiece while McPhail had a double and two RBIs. Daniel Hill went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs for West Lauderdale.

For more from Saturday’s game, see Monday’s edition of the EAGLE. (May 11, 2014)

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