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Fairland Junior League rallies by Illinois

INDIANAPOLIS - The bats of the Fairland Junior League All-Stars are like a time bomb. Sooner or late they're going to explode.

After a slow start, Fairland got its bats going and posted an 8-4 come-from-behind win over Illinois in the Junior League All-Star Regional Tournament Wednesday.

"The first inning we got rolling pretty good. We had bases loaded and only got one run," Fairland coach John Bond said. "Then we didn't hit because we didn't swing the bat. We took too many pitches.

"But once we got going, we got on a roll. Once we took the lead, I knew we had them. I knew we were going to score some runs. I don't see anybody shutting our bats down."

Fairland plays Indiana today at 1 p.m. If Fairland wins, it will play in the championship game at 6 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Junior League World Series.

Fairland went up 1-0 in the top of the first inning.

Matt Bloomfield, Ethan Long and Adam Berry singled to load the bases. Robbie Easterling walked to force in the run.

Illinois took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning.

Casey Zwiazek walked and scored on a hit by Dominic Kurelic. Greg Mrozek followed with a two-run homer.

Fairland tied the game in the fifth inning.

Bloomfield led off with a base hit, Long was safe on an error, and, after a double play, Easterling singled as a run scored. Tyler Thackston reached on an error and Lamb had a run-scoring single.

"Easterling had a big hit to get us going and Lamb had a big hit to tie the game," Bond said.

Fairland then took the lead with a five-run sixth inning.

Zach Matasich had a lead off single, Josh Zundel and Bloomfield were safe on bunts, and Long and Berry followed with run-scoring singles.

Easterling, Thackston and Lamb all singled home runs to cap the uprising.

Illinois pushed across a run in the sixth inning, Mrozek singled, Gabriel Martinez walked and Anthony Sticuzza had an RBI single.

Easterling came on and retired the side. Lamb returned in the seventh and nailed down the win.

Fairland banged out 16 hits with Easterling going 3-for-3 and Bloomfield 3-4. Long, Berry, Thackston and Lamb were all 2-4.

Lamb pitched six of the seven innings to get the win. He walked six and allowed only three hits.

"Michael didn't have his good stuff, but we played excellent defense behind him. For as many times as they put the ball in play, we fielded the ball well and our catcher (Tyler Godby) threw out two runners. Those were big, big plays," Bond said.

Fairland1000250=8161

Illinois3000010=443

Michael Lamb, Robbie Easterling (6), Michael Lamb (7) and Tyler Godby. Joyce, Sticuzza (6) and Martinez. W-Lamb (7-BB, 0-K, 3-H, 4-ER). Easterling (1-H, 0-K, 0-BB). L-Joyce. HR-Illinois: Greg Mrozek. Hitting-Fairland: Matt Bloomfield 3-4, Ethan Long 2-4, Adam Berry 2-4, Robbie Easterling 3-3, Tyler Thackston 2-4, Michael Lamb 2-4, Zach Matasich 1-3, Josh Zundel 1-1; Illinois: Mrozek 2-3, Sticuzza 1-2, Kurelic 1-3.