Pirates blank Dragons

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 16, 2004

WHEELERSBURG - Two out of three wasn't good enough.

The Fairland Dragons got good pitching and good defense, but the hitting was absent as they lost 2-0 to the Wheelersburg Pirates in the Division III sectional finals Friday.

Brandon Russell pitched a one-hitter as the Pirates avenged last season's 8-0 loss on a no-hitter by Michael Hill. The only hit for the Dragons was a single by Hill leading off the game.

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Hill pitched well again for the Dragons. He allowed eight hits, struck out six and walked just.

"In this game, you have to do three things well to win," Fairland coach Roger Snyder said. "I thought if Michael pitched a good ball game, we'd have a chance to win and we did. We played good defense, we just didn't do anything on the bases."

The Pirates (20-5) didn't do much on the bases, but it was enough with the lefty Russell going the distance and getting six strikeouts against just one walk.

"We just didn't hit. We haven't seen any lefthanders. He had good control and a nice changeup. He kept us off-balance," Snyder said.

Wheelersburg got what proved to be the only run it needed in the second inning. Nathan Timberlake led off the inning with a base hit and Brandon Jackson doubled the runners to second and third. Alex Wamsley grounded out to second base as Timberlake scored.

The Pirates added an insurance run in the fifth. Justin Parlin singled but was erased when Josh Cowgill hit into a force play. Cowgill then stole second and scored on a two-out single by Brandon White.

"We were two fairly even teams, we just didn't get the key hits and they did," Snyder said.

The Dragons finished 17-4.



Michael Hill and Adam Fuller. Brandon Russell and Brandon White. W-Russell (6-K, 1-W). L-Hill (6-K, 1-W). 2B-Wheelersburg: Justin Parlin, Brandon Jackson, Alex Wamsley. Hitting-Fairland: Michael Hill 1-3; Wheelersburg: Justin Parlin 2-3, Tyler Suter 1-2, Brandon White 1-3, Nathan Timberlake 1-3, Brandon Jackson 1-2, Alex Wamsley 1-3.