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The Bulldogs allowed four runs in the first inning, but coach John Walker said it was Lafayette’s pitching that ultimately led to New Albany’s season ending 6-1 loss on Monday.
“They got some hits in the first inning, and things started to unravel, but was that the difference in the game? No. We only had two hits tonight, and that’s all credit to Luke Stanley,” Walker said. “Unbelievable performance on such short rest. He was really good tonight; better tonight than he was in game one, and with only two hits, you’re not going to beat anyone. All credit to them and that team over there.”
Lafayette scored four runs in the first, capped by a two-run double by Eli Murphree, and New Albany answered with its lone run in the bottom half, an RBI double by Easton Hall.
After the opening frame, Mason Maxey held the Commodores hitless until the sixth, when Jake McPhail brought in a run, and Mize capped the scoring in the seventh with his RBI single.
“He tacked on a string of zeros that you feel like at any point, you break it open with a couple of runs, he’s going to give you a chance to win it,” Walker said of Maxey. “That’s what a senior does. He may not have been 100 percent, but he wanted the ball, and I gave it to him. He was a joy to watch tonight.”
The Bulldogs end the season at 26-10, runners-up in Division 2-4A and graduate six seniors, Riley Alef, Easton Hall, Tyler Verrell, Mason Maxey, John Holt Waldrop and Jerry Davis, Jr.
“They’re going to be impossible to replace,” Walker said. “Every one of those guys contributes either as a starter or as a base runner. We’ve got some good guys that are going to come in and try to fill their roles, and since I’ve been here, that’s been a solid core for us.”
New Albany forced Monday’s game three after defeating Lafayette on the road on Saturday, 7-5.
A three-run home run by Riley Alef helped the Bulldogs pull away from Lafayette, forcing game three on Monday.
Ahead 4-3 in the seventh, Mason Maxey and Easton Hall reached base on an error and a single respectively, leading up to the senior’s big hit. Lafayette would score two in the bottom half of the seventh on a sacrifice fly out and a bases loaded walk.
Lafayette took an early 2-0 lead, but the Bulldogs tied the game in the third on RBI singles by Alef and Jake McDonald. New Albany took the lead in the fifth, as Brandon Montgomery brought in Maxey and Jerry Davis scored on an error.
Maxey, Hall and Alef each had two hits for New Albany.
Lafayette opened the series with a commanding 12-3 lead last Friday.
New Albany led 3-1 until Lafayette tied the game and later took the lead in the fifth, scoring on two hits and two Bulldog errors. Ahead 5-3 in the final inning, the Commodores scored runs off of three bases loaded walks, a single by Luke Stanley and a three-run double by DK Buford.
Buford finished with three hits to lead Lafayette, while Easton Hall had three hits to lead New Albany.