Suddenly hot Lafayette tops Dunbar 4-3 in 11 innings

mfields@herald-leader.comMay 9, 2014 

Lafayette's baseball team, which lost its first six district games of the season, has turned things around impressively in a 24-hour period.

After knocking off No. 1 Tates Creek 6-4 Wednesday night, the Generals battled by No. 7 Paul Laurence Dunbar 4-3 in an 11-inning marathon Thursday night. The game didn't end until 15 minutes before midnight.

Johnny Fangmeyer and Ben Eckert smacked back-to-back doubles in the 11th to produce the victory. Pinch-runner Cy Marshall came home with the winning run for No. 19 Lafayette.

Alex Daniel picked up the win with four strong innings of relief. The junior righthander had six strikeouts and allowed just one hit.

True to its season, Lafayette had its emotional ups and downs against Dunbar.

The Generals scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 3-0 lead, only to surrender three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Dunbar tied it without benefit of a hit.

Lafayette's seventh-inning rally was sparked by Kylan Nelson, who led off with a single, the Generals' first hit since the first inning.

Nelson, a fleet-footed football star who's headed for Ohio University, stole second and third. After Shota Hattori walked, Fangmeyer drilled a line drive over the drawn-in infield to score Nelson.

Evan Nicoulin, in his third inning of relief of Dunbar ace Aaron Ochsenbein, struck out the next two batters. But Jacob Abbott singled to center to drive in Hattori and Fangmeyer to put Lafayette up 3-0.

Dunbar, down 3-0, had nobody on with one out in the bottom of the seventh before rallying to tie it.

Lafayette's pitchers stoked the Dunbar comeback with their control problems.

Jalen Stith, who was terrific in shutting out Dunbar through 61⁄3 innings, and reliever Jackson Boggs combined to walk three batters and hit three more.

Dunbar got its runs on a wild pitch, a fielder's choice and a bases-loaded walk.

Both offenses struggled all night.

Lafayette had five hits and struck out 14 times.

Dunbar had five hits and struck out 11 times.

Lafayette 4, Paul Dunbar 3 (11)

Lafayette 000 000 300 01—4 5 1

Paul Dunbar 000 000 300 00—3 5 0

Jalen Stith, Jackson Boggs (7), Alex Daniel (8) and Johnny Fangmeyer. Aaron Ochsenbein, Evan Nicoulin (5), Isaac Taylor (9) and Wes Walker. 2B—Fangmeyer (L), Ben Eckert (L).

Records—Lafayette 19-10, Dunbar 16-11.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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