Coal Grove rallies to beat Fairland

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

COAL GROVE — Two teams going in opposite directions turned around Friday.

The Fairland Dragons had won three in a row. The Coal Grove Hornets had lost seven straight. When Fairland took a 7-1 lead in the fifth inning, it didn’t look like the pattern was going to change.

But the Hornets changed everything by scoring 10 runs in two innings and beat the Dragons 11-8 in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

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“We went down 7-1 and the kids just kept fighting. They could have quit, but they showed a lot of character tonight,” Hornets coach John Jones said.

The Hornets had 13 hits led by Randy Wise who went 3-4 and Alex Johnson who was 2-4 including the decisive three-run homer.

“Alex and Randy have been hitting the ball almost every game. They’ve been getting on base. Tonight we were able to get them in,” Jones said.

After two scoreless innings, Coal Grove got a run in the third inning.

With one out, Shannon Goodwin reached on an error and Wise and Zach Murphy singled.

Fairland came back to take a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning.

Robbie Easterling was safe on an error, Tyler Thackston singled and Spencer Baise was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Adam Berry singled for two runs and Nick Zundel doubled in a run.

The lead went to 7-1 in the top of the fifth.

Easterling doubled and Thackston clubbed a two-run homer. Chris Barnett and Ethan Long singled, Berry was hit by pitch and Zundel had a two-out, two-run single.

Coal Grove came right back with four runs of its own in the bottom of the inning.

Taylor Dean doubled, Goodwin singled and Andrew Christian singled for a run. Wise singled to load the bases and Johnson doubled home a pair. Tyler Branch hit a sacrifice fly to cap the rally.

The Dragons went up 8-5 in the top of the sixth on a double by Thackston, a walk and an RBI single by Barnett.

But Coal Grove erupted for six runs in the bottom of the sixth.

With one out, Eric Davidson singled and Goodwin reached on an error. Tyler Allen singled to load the base and Wise had an RBI single.

Murphy singled in two runs and Johnson cranked his game-winning home run.

Coal Grove, 4-9 and 2-7 in the OVC, plays at Portsmouth Monday. Fairland falls to 9-5 and 5-5.


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Nick Zundel, Cole Hatfield (6) and Adam Fuller. Randy Wise and Tyler Branch. W-Wise (7-K, 2-BB, 4-ER). L-Zundel (7-K, 0-BB, 7-ER). 2B-Fairland: Nick Zundel, Robbie Easterling. Tyler Thackston; Coal Grove: Alex Johnson, Taylor Dean. HR-Fairland: Tyler Thackston; Coal Grove: Alex Johnson. Hitting-FairLand; Nick Zundel 2-4, Adam Fuller 2-5, Robbie Easterling 1-5, Thackston 3-5, Barnett 1-2, Ethan Long 3-4, Adam Berry 1-2; Coal Grove: Randy Wise 3-4, Zach Murphy 2-4, Alex Johnson 2-4, Tyler Branch 1-3, Eric Davidson 1-4, Taylor Dean 1-3, Shannon Goodwin 1-3, Christian 1-2, Allen 1-1.