Lafayette baseball preview: star-studded pitching staff ready to carry load in 2023

Published 4:00 pm Monday, January 23, 2023

While spring is not quite in the air, it is time for baseball in Oxford as we draw closer to the start of the high school season.

With just a few weeks to go until opening day, we’ll start taking an in-depth look at how local teams stack up by position group, starting with the boys on the mound for Lafayette.

The Commodores put together an impressive season in 2022, finishing with a perfect 9-0 record in region play en route to an 18-8 finish overall.

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They ran into a talented Saltillo team in the playoffs however as they fell to the Tigers in the postseason for the second consecutive season.

They return over 90% of their production on the mound from last season, including a pair of seniors vying for All-State honors.

Right-handers Noah Robinson and Everett Thompson are the undisputed No. 1 and No. 2 for Lafayette after combining to throw nearly 40% of the total innings pitched for the Commodores last year.

Robinson posted an impressive 0.79 ERA in 35.1 innings to earn an All-State selection, while Thompson recorded a 2.47 ERA in 34 innings of work.

The ‘Dores will also turn to senior Radley Hill and junior Jack Wyatt East to eat up innings along with their two stars.

Hill posted a 1.95 ERA in 28.2 innings last season, but the lefty slugger is also adept with the bat in his hands and will likely split time at first base with fellow senior Seth Ross between outings on the mound.

East was extremely effective in limited action as a sophomore, recording a 1.31 ERA in 10.2 innings. He struggled with control at times however, surrendering eight walks and allowing more than 1.6 baserunners per inning.

Head coach John Walker said his team will rely on those five to carry most of the burden on the mound, but added that they have even more arms in the bullpen to turn to if needed.

“I think we’re really deep on the mound,” Walker said. “We’ve obviously got Noah coming off an All-State year and he’s gotten progressively better. Our most talented arm is probably Everett Thompson… you think of guys like Jack East and Wallace Smith who are junior arms that got some varsity innings last year and I think can take the next step. I think there are several junior arms like a Maddux Brown — guys that pitched a lot of innings in J.V. that can just get outs.”

The ‘Dores kick off their season against Southaven at South Panola High School on Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

Correction: Logan Williams was included in a previous version of this story. Williams pitched for the Commodores as a sophomore last season but transferred away from Lafayette this school year.