Thanks to a combination of strong hitting and some capable work on the mound and infield, the Lafayette Rams baseball team defeated the Midlothian High School Trojans, 8-0, in their state quarterfinal match.
Pitcher Geo Rivera, who enjoyed a good night both on the mound and behind the plate, including a triple that resulted in several runs that gave the Rams an early lead, said that a lot of things came together at once to give Lafayette a strong victory.
“Those back-to-back triples we had really gave us the momentum we needed early on, and I had a strong night pitching, which with the rest of the team playing strong defense too, we kept them scoreless,” said Rivera. “You can’t ask for a better final home game of the year than this.”
The Rams were already having a great day before the game even started. Andre Lipcius, a former Lafayette pitcher who played for the Rams’s team that won the state championship in 2015, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the morning. Then, they received word in the afternoon that former player Jared Antle would finally return home from the hospital in Atlanta on Thursday.
These events, along with their victory in the state quarterfinals before a hometown crowd, caps off a season that Ricky Sullivan said can only be improved by those last two wins on the way to another championship.
“We’ve had ups and downs over the season, but we pick each other up, keep the pressure on our opponents, and a lot of times like today, it really pays off,” said Sullivan. “We’ve had a hot streak these last few games, and we all hope to see that carry us through the state finals.”
Lafayette will head to Salem to face top-seeded Liberty Christian Academy, which defeated Kettle Run High School 11-0, in the Class 4 State Semifinals on June 7. The game will be played at Salem’s Kiwanis Municipal Stadium at 10:00 a.m.
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.