Special to the Journal
PONTOTOC – It is the first week of March, and hearty fans Tuesday got to watch some high school baseball.
Hearty fans and players all right, ’cause they got to watch each other’s breath on a cold night.
On the famous “Hollow” field at Pontotoc High School, the Lafayette Commodores survived the unbaseball-like cold weather and a comeback attempt by the Pontotoc Warriors to clam a 5-4 victory in nine innings.
“This was tough conditions for both teams,” Lafayette head coach Patrick Roby said. “We didn’t play real clean against a team we could see in the playoffs.
“In a game like this, you hope you’re the last man standing.”
Lafayette (3-0) was left standing when the winning run scored on two errors and single by Jake McPhail, all with no one out in the top of the ninth inning.
Pontotoc had a runner thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the ninth.
“There was a lot of drama tonight,” Pontotoc head coach Casey James said. “This was a very positive game for our team.
“We scratched back from four runs down, and scratched back, and scratched back. We didn’t hang our heads.”
The Warriors scored the tying run in the bottom of the seventh. Hayden Kennedy tripled to right field, then scored on a wild pitch to knot the score, and send the contest into extra innings.
Lafayette scored first in the top of the second, scoring a run on a wild pitch. The Commodores then plated two runs in the third on a wild pitch and an RBI single by McPhail.
Then in the fourth for Lafayette, D. K. Bufford and Josh Keel had back-to-back singles. The speedy Bufford, and Ole Miss football signee, scored from first on a ball in short right field.
Lafayette starting pitcher Austin Arrington faced the minimum over the first three innings, but gave way to the bull pen. That is when Pontotoc started denting the scoreboard.
In the bottom of the fourth, three walks set up Sy Holley for a two-run single for the Warriors. Then in the fifth, Pontotoc added a solo run on a wild pitch.