The Fairfield Lions hosted Coal Grove in a 5-3 Sectional Final victory on Tuesday as they earned the right to advance to the District tournament.
The Lions needed all seven innings to get the job done against Coal Grove as they failed to score until the fifth inning when first baseman Griffin Irving drove in Layne Morgan to tie the game at one run apiece. Wyatt Willey and Ethan Grooms also score in the fifth to put the Lions in the driver’s seat.
Sam Buddelmeyer started for Fairfield and pitched a complete game for the win. Buddelmeyer was great for the Lions as he struck out 10 batters one the day and pitched his way out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning to secure the win.
Buddelmeyer allowed one run in the second inning that served as the difference for much of the game as the Lions struggled to find their groove at the plate.
After four innings that saw the Lions register only one base runner Morgan stepped to the plate in the fifth inning with one out and changed the narrative along with Irving, Willey and Grooms.
Andrew Digny and Matthew Spears added a run apiece in the sixth inning as Fairfield accumulated a 5-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh inning.
Coal Grove refused to go away easily as as the three hole hitter reached base with a double to centerfield and the clean up man drew a walk to put runners on first and second as Buddelmeyer struggled to find the strike zone. Both runners went on to score and drew Coal Grove to a 5-3 margin. Buddelmeyer would end the inning by striking out one batter and getting the final out on a fly ball to Cody Gragg in center field.
The Lions advance to the District tournament to take on the winner of the Eastern Meigs and Federal Hocking matchup next Monday at Paints Stadium in Chillicothe.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.