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Lafayette baseball defeats Ridgeland, takes 1-0 lead in 5A third round series

RIDGELAND — Lafayette’s baseball team finds themselves one win away from their second consecutive north half championship series.

The Commodores started their third round series of the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs with a resounding 10-1 win over Ridgeland at Titan Park on Thursday.

Another quality outing by Blake Loper on the mound and one of the better offensive performances this season put Lafayette on the brink of another semifinal appearance.

The offense got going in the fourth inning, scoring four runs with two outs to take a 5-1 lead after Ridgeland tied the game at 1-all in the bottom of the third. The Commodores followed with a five-run fifth inning to break the game open.

“I thought we had an inning where we scratched two two-out walks and got a big two-out hit and it opened it up,” said Lafayette head coach John Walker. “Blake Loper was what he’s been all year for us. Competed in the (strike)zone. His breaking stuff was probably as good as it’s been in a while.”

Montavious Winn got the start for the Titans and created a lot of loud outs for the Commodores through the first three innings. The second time through the order, Lafayette managed to get their timing down at the plate and roughed Winn up for nine runs through four-plus innings of work.

Elijah Thompson went 2-for-2 at the plate with a walk and a hit by pitch, two runs batted in and scored two runs. Tyrus Williams also went 2-for-2 for two RBIs with a walk and a hit by pitch.

Winn walked five Commodore batters and hit three more.

“We’re coming into this almost completely blind,” Walker said. “There’s not a lot of common opponents. There’s not a lot of real information out there as far as scouting reports goes. I think it helps us settle in after seeing what (Winn’s) breaking ball looks like and kind of see how he’s going to attack us.”

Loper pitched a complete game for Lafayette, working seven inning and giving up a run off six hits and struck out three Titan batters.

The series shifts back to Lafayette on Friday for Game 2 where the Commodores will look to go for the sweep and try to avoid making a return trip to Ridgeland on Saturday afternoon. Wilson Varner will start for Lafayette with a first pitch set for 7 p.m.

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