Fairland wins state junior league title
It was a good day for the Fairland Junior League All-Stars in more ways than one.
By having a good day pitching and hitting, Fairland had an even better day by beating Maumee 11-1 in five innings to win the Junior League State Championship.
"Yesterday, we jumped on them and quit hitting. Today, we stayed on them," said Fairland coach John Bond referring to Monday's 9-7 win over Maumee. "Today we swung the bats real good and Ethan Long threw the ball extremely well."
Long fired a one-hitter to get the win. He struck out eight and walked only one. Tyler Thackston slugged two home runs and Robbie Easterling added a home run to spark an 11-hit attack.
Austin Iwinsky singled to lead off the third inning for Maumee's only hit.
Bond said winning the state title brought a mixture of emotions.
"It's great," Bond said. "In one way it's a relief. Going in I thought we had a legitimate shot at winning it. The pressure was building and I thought we had the better team and more depth with our pitching. We just didn't want to mess anything up."
And they didn't. In fact, Fairland had only the one close game on Monday.
Fairland jumped in front 4-0 in the first inning.
Matt Bloomfield singled and Adam Berry was safe on an error as the run scored. Easterling followed with a two-run homer.
Thackston singled, moved up third base on a two-base throwing error and came home an errant pickoff throw.
Maumee got its only run in the bottom of the first inning.
Brad Kurtz was safe on an error, moved up on a wild pitch, took third base on a ground out and came home when Ryan Williams' fly ball was dropped in the outfield.
The lead went to 5-1 in the second inning when Zach Jordan doubled, Matt Bloomfield put down a sacrifice bunt and Long singled.
Another run scored in the third inning on a solo home run by Thackston.
Fairland got four more runs in the fourth inning to lead 10-1.
Tyler Duty walked, Bloomfield
hit into a fielder's choice, Long grounded out and Berry had an RBI single. Easterling was hit by a pitch and Thackston unloaded a three-run homer.
The final run came in the fifth inning on a single by Bloomfield who stole second and third bases and scored on a ground out by Berry.
"Maumee was well-coached and had a very good group of young men. In both games they were getting beat but you never knew it. They were very good boys," Bond said.
"We have a very special group of boys. They're very easy to coach. And we had a good community support and Ironton did a fabulous job running the tournament. We received a lot of support from the Ironton people. It was
just a perfect tournament for us."
Fairland will now play in the regionals at noon Friday, Aug. 5, against the Kansas champion in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Ethan Long and Tyler Godby. Patrick Riddell, Marcus Gonzalez (4), Sergio Garibaldo (5) and Kyle Bowell. W-Long (8-K, 1-BB). Riddell (0-K, 0-BB, 7-H, 6-R). 2B-Fairland: Zach Jordan. HR-Fairland: Tyler Thackston 2, Robbie Easterling. Hitting-Fairland: Matt Bloomfield 2-4, Ethan Long 1-3, Adam Berry 1-3, Robbie Easterling 1-2, Tyler Thackston 3-4, Tyler Godby 2-3, Zach Jordan 1-1; Maumee: Austin Iwinsky 1-3.
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