Laurence Manning's Morris wins Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week behind big day at the plate


Britton Morris remembers having a baseball game with two home runs and seven runs batted in when he was 10 years old. He did the same on Friday, but on a bigger stage, as his Laurence Manning Academy baseball team beat Wilson Hall 11-1 in five innings.

There was one difference though. Morris hit a grand slam in the game when he was 10. That didn't happen against the Barons.

"I guess my teammates weren't giving me enough support," Morris said completely in jest.

The LMA senior first baseman had a 3-run homer, a 3-run double and a solo dinger in a week in which he went 5-for-9 in three SCISA 3A state playoff games. Because of his performance, Morris has been selected as the Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week.

The third time was the charm for Morris as he had been nominated for the award on two other occasions.

"It means a lot to win this," Morris said. "It's the third time I've been nominated this year, so to win this one against Wilson Hall in a pretty big game is great. It's good to be recognized for that."

Morris' first homer came in the bottom of the first inning and gave the Swampcats a 3-0 lead. Having played Wilson Hall twice during the regular season, Morris was looking for offspeed pitches since that's the way the Barons had previously approached him.

"I knew they had a freshman (Ben Reynolds) on the mound," Morris said. "He threw a slider and hung it above the knees. I didn't miss it. There were runners on first and second, he hung it up there, and I got it."

Morris' bases-clearing double came in the second and broke the game open, giving Laurence Manning a 6-0 advantage.

"It came just after they had changed pitchers (to Tyler Jones)," Morris said. "I'd seen him the last time we'd played, and he made a little mistake. He was lucky I was a little early on my swing. I was seeing the pitches really well."

The other homer came in the fourth and put LMA up 9-1. Morris admits he was surprised he got a chance to launch another dinger.

"I honestly was thinking I wasn't going to see a pitch," he said. "I was up 3-0 and it came back to 3-2. Since we were up by seven, I was thinking if he throws me something to hit, I'm going to put a good swing on it."

Swampcats head coach Barry Hatfield said he has never had one of his players have a game like that in his long career.

"I had never seen it, had never had it happen with one of my players," Hatfield said. "To get a 3-run home run and a bases-clearing double is unbelievable. You can find ways to pitch around very good hitters. He fought being patient and getting his pitch. He's the one every opposing team is saying, 'I'm not going to let this kid beat me.'"