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A usually quiet Lafayette offense made a big statement during Friday’s Virginia High School League Group 3A Baseball Championships at Liberty University, putting up 11 runs en route to an 11-0 rout of Monticello.
“We’re not known for scoring 10 or 11 runs every game. We’re known for pitching and defense,” Lafayette coach Rick Schenk said. “The hitting today came alive today up and down the lineup.”
The Rams jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Jared Antle reached base on a fielder’s choice that brought Luc Lipcius across home plate.
Antle came up big again in the top of the third inning as he grounded into a double play, but not before bringing Lipcius across home for the second time in as many at-bats. During the next at-bat, a wild pitch allowed Andre Lipcius to reach home plate from third base, putting the Rams up 3-0. Later that inning, Jeremiah Antle smacked a double to right-center field that brought home another run.
While Lafayette’s offense built up a solid lead, starting pitcher Daniel Blankinship made sure Monticello would not catch up. Blankinship threw seven shutout innings for the Rams, allowing six hits and striking out seven batters.
“Daniel did a good job,” Schenk said. “He usually has a rough first inning, but after that he cruises. Once he finds out what the umpire is doing and gets his other pitches going, he’s strong.”
The Rams offense proved equally as dominant, especially in the top of the fifth inning. Jeremiah Antle drew an RBI walk with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, which gave way to another RBI walk, this time from John Barton.
On the next at-bat, Braydon Venus hit a two-run single to left field before Matt Keane delivered a double down the right field line for another run. By the time the dust settled in the inning, Lafayette held a commanding 10-0 edge.
Lafayette added one more run for good measure in the top of the seventh inning as Chase Smith doubled to left-center field to bring home Patrick Cheek for the game’s final run.
With the win, the Rams (17-6-1) advance to the Group 3A state championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Liberty University. Lafayette will take on Loudoun Valley, which defeated Rustburg 6-0 in the other semifinal.
Lafayette: 103;060;1 – 11 11 0
Monticello: 000;000;0 – 0 6 2
WP: Daniel Blankinship
LP: Parker Heinemann
Lafayette: Matt Keane (2-4, 2 RBIs), Jared Antle (1-2, 2 RBIs), Braydon Venus (1-2, 2 RBIs)
Monticello: Jack Decker (2-3), Kyle Jarrell (2-3)