Dores’ stellar season ends, just one game short of the state championship.

Published 10:27 pm Saturday, May 25, 2024

Lafayette fell just one game short to win the state championship in 5A baseball against Vancleave. The Oxford Eagle will have a season recap story to highlight the achievements of this team that made it all the way to the final game. 
By Jake Thompson
Lafayette needed one more win to bring home its first state baseball title in 18 years and could not manage to do so with two chances.
After winning the opening game of the MHSAA Class 5A series in 12 innings over Vancleave on Wednesday the Bulldogs went on to win the final two games, including a 6-1 victory in Saturday’s game three, over 24 hours to clinch the state championship at Trustmark Park.
The Commodores will have to wait another year to add a sign on its outfield wall next to the 2006 state championship banner.
In the opening game, Lafayette’s offense put up eight runs but only managed a combined two runs over Friday and Saturday’s games. This is a credit to Vancleave starters Tyler West and Levi Tapp.
West threw a 114-pitch complete game in Friday’s 2-1 win and Tapp followed it up with a complete game of his own, throwing seven innings and giving up a run off four hits. Tapp struck out seven Commodore batters and walked two more.
Lafayette (27-9) was not able to make contact off West on Friday who fanned 12 but Saturday was a different story. Bats were hitting balls but they were either pop-ups or going right to a Bulldog defender’s glove most of the night.
“That’s a hittable guy for us. Didn’t cash in on opportunities for us, they did and that’s the difference in the ball game,” Lafayette head coach John Walker said. “They made us pay for the opportunities that they got and we didn’t make them pay when we had chances.
“I thought their guy was in the zone. He competed in the zones. He changed speeds just enough that we had some bad swings on some balls in some pretty key situations.”
One of those key situations came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Lafayette had bases loaded with zero outs trailing by three runs, but managed to get only one run when Balin Bishop scored on a wild pitch.
Lafayette will turn to 2025 and a roster that is losing 12 seniors but a lot of production on the mound and at the plate is returning for next spring.

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