Fairland gets sectional win over South Point

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 12, 2004

PROCTORVILLE - Roger Snyder didn't want any more gray hair, but his Fairland Dragons were determined to force the issue.

The Dragons kept their coach and fans on edge as they slipped past the South Point Pointers 6-5 in nine innings

Tuesday in the Division III sectional tournament semifinals.

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"It was a pretty good ball game for the fans. It was pretty tense and we just made a play at the end to win," Snyder said.

Fairland (16-3) will play at 5 p.m. Friday at Wheelersburg in the sectional finals. The Dragons beat the Pirates last year on a no-hitter by Michael Hill.

The loss was frustrating for Pointers coach Kevin Milem, whose team lost in extra innings for the third time this season.

"Any time you're the visiting team and can't score in the top of the inning, you're at a disadvantage. This is the third time this has happened to us this year," Milem said.

Cory McKnight and Hill combined to beat the Pointers, with Hill getting the win. The two combined for 13 strikeouts, two walks and six hits, but the Dragons were guilty of six errors that led to three unearned runs.

"We pitched well, but we just gave them too many runs. South Point played a good game, kept their heads up and took advantage of our mistakes," Snyder said.

Starter Justin Smith pitched well for the Pointers before giving way to Andy McCarty in the eighth inning.

"Justin just had a bad inning in the fourth. But he's a sophomore and I can't say enough good things about him," Milem said.

Fairland went up 1-0 in the second inning on a leadoff home run by Zacc Russell.

South Point came back to take a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning.

Smith singled. Zane Joy and Caleb Copley reached on errors as a run scored. Seth Craft hit a sacrifice fly and Copley scored when Dale Kinney was safe on an error.

But Fairland came right back in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-3 lead.

With one out, Nick Zundel singled. Hill, McKnight, Russell and Matt Clark all walked to force in two runs. Adam Fuller doubled to drive home two more runs.

The Pointers got within 5-4 in the sixth when Tyler Staton singled, took second on an outfield error, and came home when Smoot singled.

South Point tied the game in the seventh.

Copley singled to start the inning, then stole second and third. Kinney hit a roller in front of the plate and was thrown out at first, but the return throw to home was unable to get Copley and force the game into extra innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Bowman led off with a single, Zundel was hit by a pitch, and Hill beat out an infield hit to load the bases. Greg Boster put down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to score Bowman.

South Point003001100-561


Justin Smith, Andy McCarty (8) and Dale Kinney. Cory McKnight, Michael Hill (6) and Adam Fuller. W-Hill (3-H, 1-ER, 7-K, 0-W). L-McCarty (0-K, 0-W). McKnight 4-R, 1-ER, 4-H, 6-K, 2-W.

2B-Fairland: Adam Fuller. HR-Fairland: Zacc Russell. Hitting-South Point: Caleb Copley 1-4, Tyler Staton 1-4, Corey Smoot 1-4, Justin Smith 1-4, Zane Joy 2-3; Fairland: Michael Hill 1-4, Greg Boster 1-5, Russell 1-3, Matt Clark 1-3, Adam Fuller 2-4, Tyler Bowman 2-4, Nick Zundel 1-3.