Fairfield baseball opened their season on Monday when they traveled to Washington High School to take on the Blue Lions. The Lions of Fairfield led after their first at bat but, the boys from Washington Court House gained the advantage in the bottom of the first and earned a 4-2 win.
Andrew Dingey reached base in the top of the first courtesy of a walk with two outs, Sam Buddelmyer smacked a double into the outfield in the following at bat and Dingey turned on the jets to score from first and give the Lions an early 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the first Matthew Spears faced seven batters and allowed two runs while striking out one. Spears got the final out of the inning when the number seven hitter for the Blue Lions to hit a grounder to short stop and was forced at at first base to end the inning.
The second, third and fourth innings were uneventful as both pitchers found their groove and the respective defenses made play after play to keep the score at 2-1 entering the fifth inning.
In the top of the fifth inning Fairfield was unable to produce offensively as Ethan Grooms, Austin Setty and Spears were retired in order. The bottom of the fifth inning saw the Blue Lions add to their narrow lead when Spears walked the first batter of the inning and he crossed the plate prior to the last out being called on a force at first base giving the Blue Lions a 3-1 lead.
A two out rally in the top of the sixth inning saw Cody Gragg single to reach the base paths. Wyatt Willey batted him in with a single of his own following a single by Griffin Irvin that advanced Gragg into scoring position. The Blue Lions added another run in the bottom of the sixth and then held the Lions in check in the seventh inning to emerge with the 4-2 win.
First year Lions head coach Jeremy McGraw was pleased with his team’s performance despite the outcome.
“I was very pleased with the way we played against a very good Washington Court House team. We had our chances, we just could not come up with that timely hit. Of the nine runners we left on base six of them were in scoring position. Matthew Spears did a great job on the mound. Our defense backed him tonight as well and we did not commit an error,” said McGraw.
The Lions took on the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs on Tuesday, look for that story in a future edition of The Times-Gazette.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.