• 70°

Lafayette baseball defeats Center Hill behind Varner’s complete game

Lafayette entered Tuesday night’s game against Center Hill looking to bounce back at W.V. Brewer field after dropping the three-game series against Saltillo last week.

In the first game of this week’s Region 1-5A three-game series, Lafayette used a complete-game performance by Wilson Varner, along with timely hitting and defense, to defeat Center Hill 10-1 to take game one of the series. Lafayette (13-9) improved to 5-2 in Region 1-5A play with the win.

In the first inning, Wilson Varner gave up a leadoff single that would later score in the inning off a passed ball. The Itawamba Community College baseball commit settled down to throw a complete game to shut out Center Hill the rest of the way.

Varner worked seven innings, giving up one unearned run, off five hits, while striking out five Center Hill batters, and issuing one walk on 94 pitches.

“Wilson Varner pitched a great game. He started out a little rough in the first, but settled down afterward and pitched a great game, said Lafayette head coach John Walker. “Wilson Varner has been really good, his (velocity) was down a little and he didn’t let it affect him. He only had one walk tonight, which is only his third walk-in 50 plus innings pitched”

The Commodores were helped by timely hitting to take the lead in the second inning when Elijah Thompson doubled, scoring two runs with two outs in the inning.

The Commodores would never look back after scoring two in the second. They added two in the third after a Carson Newman fielder’s choice and a Radley Hill single scored Taylor Tarver, who hit a leadoff double in the inning, and Blake Loper, who followed Tarver’s double with a single.

The Commodores would add one in the fourth to break the game open, taking a 5-1 lead after a Tyrus Williams single scored Elijah Thompson. Lafayette would later add five runs in the sixth off six walks and a hit by pitch to make the score 10-1.

Lafayette had seven hits on the night. Elijah Thompson and Blake Loper led the way, each collecting two hits.

The Commodore middle infield of Elijah Thompson and Everett Thompson would turn two double plays on the night, keeping the momentum on Lafayette’s side.

“We had some timely hits and defensive plays tonight. It looked like we were not going to score in the second, and Elijah Thompson hits a double giving us the lead,” Walker said. “We got out of some innings with double plays. It’s plays like those that started shifting the momentum in our favor, and we took advantage of it.”

Lafayette will return to action Friday, as they travel to Olive Branch for Game 2 of the series against Center Hill. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m. The series will return to Lafayette on Saturday for Game 3 at 7 p.m.