Lafayette rallies but falls to Grenada in 2-5A showdown

Published 11:39 am Saturday, March 24, 2018

One week into Region 2-5A play and Lafayette head coach John Walker knows what it will take for his team to be successful. The Commodores dropped their region game with Grenada, 7-5, at W.V. Brewer Field on Friday night for their second loss to the Chargers in four nights.

Grenada (8-2, 2-0 2-5A) defeated Lafayette (6-6, 0-2) 9-0 on Tuesday to open up region play.

Friday night looked like another runaway win for the Chargers after going up 5-0, but Lafayette rallied to tie the game at 5-all in the sixth inning. The key moment of the game was in the top of the seventh when Grenada used four straight hits to open the frame to score the decisive two runs.

“It all goes into our pressure game,” Walker said. “When we’re able to get on base we’re pretty good. We’re not very good when we strike out because that’s not what we do. That’s not what we’re going to be good at. When things started happening for us it happened in bunches. We’ve got to be more consistent offensively.”

Taylor Tarver got the start for the Commodores. The freshman did not have the same quality start on Friday as he did during last week’s Oxford High Spring Break Tournament. Tarver lasted two-plus innings, giving up three runs on three hits and striking out one. He struggled with his command, hitting two batters and walking two more.

Parker Brown worked two-plus innings of relief and Foster Westbrook got the final three outs in the seventh.

“I think everybody sees what we can do and the depth that we can put out on the mound,” Walker said. “When we get some guys there it gets even better. (Tarver) couldn’t get ahead and when you can’t get ahead you start to rely on your fastball. For him, it’s a good pitch but it’s still a freshman fastball against a very, very potent offensive team.”

The opposite could be said of Grenada starter Bailey Albritton. Albritton went 6 2/3 innings, giving up five runs off six hits and striking out seven Commodore batters. Abbott Hankins came in to shutdown the Lafayette rally in the seventh for the win.

During the Commodores’ comeback, all five runs were scored with two outs remaining in both the fifth and sixth innings. Shortstop John Tate Roberts went 2-for-4 with a run scored while first baseman Austin Wilson and catcher Marshall Merchant each recorded an RBI. Designated hitter Colin Crawford went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

Lafayette defeated Byhalia 14-7 at Byhalia High School Saturday morning and hosted Oxford for the final game between the crosstown rivals this season Saturday afternoon.