Lions jump out early


It was the first game in ten days for the Fairfield Lions baseball team after the weather over the past week had kept them off the field. The Lions traveled to Whiteoak on Thursday night to take on the Wildcats. They came out hitting early, not showing any rust from not having played for a time period and won the game with in shutout fashion with a score of 5-0.

Fairfield got a great performance from their starting pitcher Mitchell Rose as he went the distance throwing all seven innings allowing just four hits while striking out 10 batters and walking just two.

The Lions got their first runs in their first at-bat, striking for two runs. They made their run total three in the second inning as they scored once more. The offense hit a little bit of a wall until the sixth inning where they scored again and then added their fifth and final run in the seventh. Rose was lights out on the mound even when his offense’s bats were quiet and held the Wildcats at bay to get the win.

Cody Gragg led the Lions at the plate with a 2-for-3 effort and an RBI; Mitchell Rose aided his cause getting a hit and an RBI as well; Tucker Ayes was 1-for-3 and Austin Setty added a hit and an RBI.

On the other side of the field was a good effort by Whiteoak Pitcher Trevor Martin who rebounded after a 25 pitch first inning to pitch five and two-thirds innings on the night. He was hit with the loss after giving up four hits and allowing four runs, only two of them earned.

“You just have to play this game pitch-by-pitch and inning-by-inning really,” said Tony Haley after the win for Fairfield. “And that’s what these guys do. Mitch pitched a great game, especially against Whiteoak. Those guys are always good. They don’t make many mistakes and Mitch pounded the zone and we got them out.

“This is a big win for us but once we get on that bus, it’s over. We forget about it and we move on to the next game which will be Fayetteville on Friday on our home field. We’re gonna regroup tonight after this win and go out tomorrow and start over.”

“Honestly, there were only two things I was disappointed in tonight,” said Whiteoak Head Coach Chris Veidt after the loss. “I feel like we got off to a slow start for whatever reason. I didn’t feel like we had any real energy until the third inning. The second thing is that we gave them three runs tonight. Two of their runs were guys who walked and another was a guy we hit. We gave three runs up to them early, and you’re not going to win any games if you don’t score runs and there’s a good reason for that. Mitch Rose pitched well. [Fairfield] is a well coached team and they’re fundamentally sound, so when you spot them a three-run lead early, especially as well coached as they are and the pitcher that was on the mound, it’s going to be tough coming back. Even with all of that and the slow start we had, the guys finished this game really well. We didn’t quit and were in the game the entire game. An example of that is Jacob Burns who was the last guy batting in a 5-0 game and takes 11 pitches to get out. Trevor [Martin] had a 25 pitch or so first inning and was able to make it to the sixth inning of this game so he did a nice job of adjusting and coming back from that. Honestly, this was just two good baseball teams in a friendly rivalry game and they got the best of us simply because they out-played us.”

Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.

Mitch Rose delivers a pitch during the game on Thursday night. Rose delivers a pitch during the game on Thursday night. Robert Stegbauer | The Times-Gazette

Klay Walker looks to make contact with a ball during the game againts Whiteoak on Thursday. Walker looks to make contact with a ball during the game againts Whiteoak on Thursday. Robert Stegbauer | The Times-Gazette

By Robert Stegbauer

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