By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
IUKA – The Tishomingo County Braves were cruising through the middle innings of their Game 1 contest of the Class 4A playoffs.
Then a Commodore got in gear, as well as the Lafayette bats.
A D. K. Bufford triple highlighted the Commodores scoring five runs in their final two at bats Thursday, shocking the Braves 5-3 in Game 1 of their series in the play-in round of the 4A playoffs.
“I kept telling the guys it’s 21 outs,” said Lafayette head coach Patrick Roby, whose Commodores took a little over five innings to finally figure out Tishomingo County starting pitcher Gable Butler. “It took a while for us to adjust.”
The Braves (18-10) were feeling pretty good in their home surroundings after the bottom of the third inning, where they scored three runs on RBI hits by Butler and Dustin Allen.
The teams then cruised through the next two frames.
Up until the sixth, Braves starter Allen had only allowed three hits. Two more base knocks helped Lafayette (19-8) plate its first run on a Jake McPhail single. The Commodores added another run in the inning following an error and a wild pitch to close within 3-2.
Bufford then deposited a ball into left center in the top of the seventh and thespeedy junior made short work of the trip to third base with the tying run. Eli Murphree followed with a bunt to score Bufford and McPhail put the Commodores ahead later with a single up the middle past a drawn-in infield.
“Our defense had been solid all year, then we came up with four errors tonight,” veteran Tishomingo head coach Jerry Long said. “I think that was the difference in the ball game.”
Play continues in this series today at Lafayette.