By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
OXFORD – Lewisburg coach Rusty Cagle asked his team a question in the second inning at Lafayette on Friday night.
“How can we be flat today?” Cagle asked his tame dugout. His Patriots responded.
Trailing 3-0, Lewisburg scored four in the third on its way to a 6-3 win and series sweep against the Commodores in the MHSAA Class 4A North finals.
Lewisburg will face Purvis in a best-of-three state title series in Jackson.
Starter Jonathan Lindsey struck out seven and escaped a pair of late jams to lead the Patriots.
“I thought we did a great job at the plate. You’ve got to give credit to their pitcher because we had him twice,” Lafayette coach Greg Lewis said. “We had him on the ropes twice with one out.”
Lafayette (19-13) scored three in the the first. Tyler Mize’s single put two on and D.K. Buford’s bunt was thrown away by Lindsey as two runs scored. Buford scored on Jake McPhail’s single.
With one out in the top of the third, Rudy Martin hit a high fly to right that Hunter Bishop couldn’t find. His relay throw hit the ground as Martin went all the way home for the Patriots’ first run. Tanner Densford singled and scored on a double by Tanner Lloyd.
The big shot came from Louisiana-Monroe signee Dalton Todd, a two-run shot to put the Patriots (24-10) ahead for good.
“Tonight we had mental mistakes, bases loaded and couldn’t get the big hit, just little things like that,” Mize said.
Lewisburg added insurance off starter Luke Stanley (6-2) with two RBI singles from Martin.
Lafayette couldn’t get to Lindsey (8-1). After a single and double from McPhail and John Murphree in the fifth, Lindsey struck out Dylan Gossett before loading the bases. He escaped damage by getting Bishop on a sharp grounder.
He also snagged a liner off Eli Murphree with two on in the second.
In the sixth, Lindsey walked Stanley and Mize doubled but he struck out three-hitter Buford and Cagle went to sidearm closer Tyler Scholl.
Scholl got a grounder from Eli Murphree and doubled up an aggressive Mize.
“The turning point in the game was the double play,” Cagle said. “To me that kind of sealed the deal.”