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New Hope defeats Lafayette in extra innings to tie 5A playoff series

COLUMBUS- Lafayette battled all game against the New Hope Trojans but fell in extra innings on a walk-off two-RBI single by Richard Guy on Friday, forcing their second round series to go to a deciding third game.

The Trojans scored in the bottom of the first when Gates Gerhart hit a two-run home run to open the game. The Commodores answered back by sending ten batters to the plate and scoring six runs in the top of the second. The Commodores had six hits in the inning with two doubles by Blake Loper and Radley Hill and four singles by Wilson Varner, Taylor Tarver, Elijah Thompson, and Carter Newman.

“We gave up a home run early but worked and got the lead. I think we relaxed after the second inning, but give credit to New Hope’s relief pitcher he came in and shut us down,” said Lafayette head coach John Walker.

In the second inning, New Hope brought in relief pitcher Dawson Lofton. Lofton went six innings, giving up two hits, one run, and struck out 11 Commodore batters.

Lofton’s night allowed the Trojan offense to take advantage of Commodore errors to chip away at the lead before regaining the lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Walker was ejected from the game in the bottom of the fifth after arguing with the home plate umpire over balls and strikes.

The Commodores tied the game in the seventh inning on a Tyrus Willams groundout that scored Will Dabney. They would add runs in the top of the eighth and ninth on a Newman single that scored Varner and a Williams single that scored Elijah Thompson.

“I’m proud of the way we played. Give credit to those group of kids and coaches. They never gave up and kept battling all game,” said Walker

Taylor Tarver was the starting pitcher for the Commodores. The ICC commit gave up seven runs, four of them earned on five hits in four innings pitched. He also walked four and had three strikeouts on the night.

Lafayette(1-1) will return to action Saturday for the deciding game of the three- game series against New Hope (1-1). First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at W.V. Brewer Field. The winner of the game will advance to the third round of the MHSSA class 5A playoff and play the Ridgeland and Cleveland Central series, who are also playing a deciding Game 3 on Saturday, winner next week.