BLOG — A pair of big innings propelled West Lauderdale to a 9-4 win over Lafayette in the teams’ Class 4A playoff series Friday night at W.V. Brewer Field.
Now the Commodores (20-10) have to win Saturday to keep their season alive.
Game 1 saw each team score three runs in the first inning, but the Knights broke the tie in the fourth with five runs and pushed across another in the seventh. West Lauderdale (28-2) produced two of those runs with squeeze plays.
Lafayette plated its final run in the home half of the fifth when D.K. Buford scored on an error, but the Commodores’ offense went quietly in the middle innings against West Lauderdale right-hander Will Stokes. The Ole Miss signee threw six innings of four-hit ball, striking out 12 and walking four. None of Lafayette’s runs were earned.
The Commodores finished with just five hits in all, each of them singles. Hunter Bishop went 2-for-4 while Eli Murphree knocked in two runs.
“Their guy, he was pretty good, but you look at the scoreboard, and you look at those two innings. The three-spot and the five-spot,” Lafayette coach Patrick Robey said. “When you give up those crooked numbers and you give up a big inning, sometimes it’s hard to overcome it.”
Stokes helped himself at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Fred Franklin had two hits and an RBI while Blake Anderson and Ryan Lane each drove in a pair of runs.
Austin Arrington got the start for the Commodores and allowed eight runs (five earned) on nine hits while fanning two and issuing three free passes. Lefty Mack Bishop surrendered a hit and a run in three innings of relief.
Right-hander T.J. Hollis will get the ball in Game 2 Saturday night in Collinsville. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. It’s a game Lafayette has to have to force a third and decisive game back in Oxford on Tuesday.
“Our guys competed, and they’re a tough team,” Robey said. “We’ll bounce back tomorrow. Our job now is just to get the series back here.” (May 9, 2014)