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Lafayette High School news. Student-run.

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Lafayette High School news. Student-run.

The Lancer Feed

Baseball makes State Final for first time in 24 years, loses by one point

The+infielders+run+to+Sophomore+Landon+Matthews+to+celebrate+after+recording+the+final+out+of+the+Lancers+4-2+Quarterfinals+victory+against+Seckman+on+May+25.+The+team+then+advanced+to+the+Final+Four%2C+their+first+trip+since+2000.+
Maddie Roberts
The infielders run to Sophomore Landon Matthews to celebrate after recording the final out of the Lancers’ 4-2 Quarterfinals victory against Seckman on May 25. The team then advanced to the Final Four, their first trip since 2000.

On June 1, the Lafayette Lancers baseball team faced the Blue Springs Wildcats in the Class 6 State Championship. The last time Lafayette made it to the State Championship was in 2000 when they lost 9-3 against De Smet. 

Heading into the game, Lafayette held a 25-12 record and had recently defeated previous State Champions, Liberty North, 1-0 thanks to a no-hitter game pitched by senior Tyson Oswald. 

“It was a special feeling to win that game. We were confident, coming into the game, that we would win, but it was really cool to actually get the job done,” Oswald said. 

To start the final, Lafayette took a 2-0 lead at the bottom of the first inning, but Blue Springs fought back, scoring nine points at the top of the fourth to take a seven point lead. Lafayette managed to shorten that lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring six points to make it a one-point difference.  Out of the 21 total points scored by both teams collectively, 15 of them were scored in the fourth inning alone.

“Gritty, that is the best way to describe the championship game, despite being down 9-2 in the fourth inning, no one in our dugout thought we were out of the game,” sophomore Chase Roeder said. 

The fifth inning ended with neither team scoring, but both scored in the sixth inning making the score 10-9.

At the bottom of the seventh inning, the score was 11-10 with Blue Springs leading. Lafayette had two outs and two runners on base, a double could win the game for them. However, Blue Springs managed to catch a pop fly, securing the last out that ended Lafayette’s time at bat, and winning them the Class 6 State Championship. 

“Our performance in the Championship was a perfect representation of our fight and never-ending dedication to the sport. To come back from a 9-2 deficit to an 11-10 final score exemplifies the team’s effort throughout the season,” junior Renn Fiss said. “The underdog mentality this team had throughout the season is what allowed us to take an overlooked team to State.”

Overall this was a historical season for Lafayette, as they made the State Championship for the first time in 24 years. The loss against Blue Springs means that Lancer’s baseball team hasn’t won at State since their three-peat from 1970-1972 under Head Coach Bob Swift who is now in the MHSBCA Hall of Fame. 

“We all believed in each other and knew no one was going to give up. Even though we ended up coming short, we never rolled over and [we] fought until the end. It was great to see how everyone played for each other in this game despite the score, no one was being selfish which was a goal of ours this year,” Roeder said. 

Roeder scored one RBI in the State Final with a total of 10 RBIs and one home run across the entire season. He was one of three players to hit a home run, with only four being hit throughout the season. Senior Daxton Shawke hit two of them and also had three RBIs in the State game. 

According to Junior Micheal Callahan, Lafayette was not expected to make it to the State Final, heading into the game unranked.  

“Overall this year we were completely overlooked by everyone, unranked all season even after punching out a ticket to the Final Four. Although no one took notice of us, we still came out each day and used that as fire to start our flame, give us something to play for and have a reason to go out and show everyone who Lafayette is,” he said. 

Last year the Lancers had made it to the State Quarterfinals but lost to Jackson, 5-1. To start the season, Lafayette lost their first game before winning both Districts, Conference and coming 2nd place at State. They finished with a record of 25-13 this season, their record from the previous season having been 20-13-1. 

“I’m proud of how everyone found their role for the team and executed it to the best of their ability day in and day out, and just the accountability we all took for our actions and mistakes and then ultimately how hard we all fought for each other,” Callahan said. 

Despite the loss of key seniors such as Oswald, Shawke, and Xander Schmitt, who had the most RBIs this season with 25 total, Callahan believes the team will be back in the final next season.

“I expect another trip to the final four because I let the guys know that I’m not leaving high school without a ring,” he said. 

If Lafayette can win State next year, they will have ended a 53-year drought.

 

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Maddie Roberts
Maddie Roberts, Yearbook Staff
Grade: Freshman Pronouns: She/Her Years on Staff: 0 Hobbies and Interests: Watching sports, sports editing, listening to music Favorite Quote: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt Favorite Hot Take: Pizza is overrated Fun Fact: I am the biggest Kentucky Wildcats fan of all time
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