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Fairland stars win opener, fall to Iowa

INDIANAPOLIS - It's not how you start, but how you finish. And the Fairland Junior League All-Stars finished with a flourish.

After being held scoreless the first three innings, Fairland got its offense going and beat Kansas 12-7 Saturday in the first game of the Junior League regional tournament.

"We didn't start hitting until the fourth inning. We took too many pitches the first couple of innings. This is a hitters' game, so I told the kids they have to go up there swinging," coach John Bond said.

"We came on the last four innings."

Ethan Long went the distance to get the win. He struck out 13, walked six and allowed just five hits.

"Ethan threw a real good game. He got a little tired in the seventh, but he finished it off," Bond said. "But we have to play better defense. We can't afford to make the mistakes we've been making."

Michael Lamb went 4-for-5 to lead a 15-hit attack. "Michael hit the ball good today," Bond said.

Kansas took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Fairland came back to get two runs in the fourth inning to lead 2-1.

With two outs, Robbie Easterling and Tyler Thackston and Michael Lamb all singled for a run. Tyler Godby was hit by a pitch and Zach Matasich walked to force in a run.

Fairland scored four times in the fifth inning to go up 6-1.

Daniel Puckett walked, Long hit into a fielder's choice, Adam Berry singled, Easterling and Thackston walked, Lamb and Godby singled and Matasich grounded out to drive in the final run.

Kansas came back with a run in the fifth to make it 6-2, but Fairland got four more runs in the sixth inning.

Berry led off with a home run, Easterling singled and Lamb doubled. Godby singled home a run and Matasich singled in two runs.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Kansas pushed across two runs and trailed 10-4.

In the top of seventh inning, Bloomfield doubled to start a two-run rally.

Long walked, Berry hit into a fielder's choice and Easterling walked to force home a run.

Two walks, two hits and a throwing error helped Kansas rally for three runs in the bottom of the inning, Long finally retired the side to end the game.

Fairland played Iowa Sunday, losing 19-4 in five innings.

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Ethan Long and Tyler Godby. Smith, Carlisle (4), Wren (5), Merritt (7) and Carlisle, Conard (4). W-Long (13-K, 6-BB, 4-ER). L-Smith. 2B-Fairland: Matt Bloomfield, Michael Lamb 2. HR-Fairland: Adam Berry. Hitting-Fairland: Matt Bloomfield 1-3, Ethan Long 1-4, Adam Berry 2-4, Robbie Easterling 2-3, Tyler Thackston 1-4, Michael Lamb 4-5, Tyler Godby 2-3, Zach Matasich 1-3; Kansas: Spencer 3-4, Smith 1-4, Merritt 1-4.