By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – Don’t tell Lafayette pitcher T.J. Hollis summer baseball doesn’t matter.
The incoming senior allowed three hits in six innings to help the Commodores win back-to-back NEMCABB summer champion-ships Wed-nesday with a 9-2 win over Pontotoc at BNA Bank Park.
Hollis had thrown earlier in the week and was told he was only getting a couple of innings. But assistant coach Josh Reagan, filling in for head coach Patrick Roby, let him go.
“I was feeling good. I told him that and he let me keep going. I wanted to be out there.
“I like being out there when it matters,” Hollis said.
Lafayette scored three runs in the top of the third off of Pontotoc starter Kaleb Barnes, one on John Murphree’s RBI singe and two on errors. Pontotoc had five of the game’s nine miscues.
Pontotoc had beaten New Albany 7-6 in the day’s earlier semifinal. Lafayette beat Itawamba AHS 7-3.
“We graduated several seniors and had some new role players step in. They responded very, very well,” said Pontotoc coach Casey James of the Warriors’ extended summer.
“They’ve had a very successful summer and I think it makes you feel very well about going into next season.”
Lafayette’s Josh Keel had an inside-the-park home run and DK Buford and Hunter Bishop hit back-to-back doubles in the fourth. Devon Thomas’ RBI double in the second inning started Lafayette’s scoring.
Pontotoc tied the game in the second inning after Jacob White’s double and Sy Holley’s well-executed safety squeeze. Barnes walked and scored on an error in the sixth. Lafayette tacked on three more runs after a pair of errors in the seventh.
“It’s an important thing for us, I think good momentum going into the next year,” Hollis said.
“It’s a good thing for me, because I was struggling earlier in the summer, to throw my stuff like I know I can.”