Clinching the Crown
PEDRO — This race turned out to be a sprint.
Fairland wrapped up the Ohio Valley Conference baseball championship with a few games to spare with an 18-6 win over the Rock Hill Redmen on Tuesday.
The Dragons are now 8-0 in the conference and 11-1 overall. No other league team has fewer than three losses.
“One of your first goals is always to win conference and the next is to go deep in the tournament. We’ve got one of them,” said coach Roger Snyder who has now guided Fairland to 10 league titles.
Jordan walked, stole second, took third on a sacrifice and came home on a double by Robbie Easterling. Zach Matasich reached on a dropped fly ball as a run scored.
The Dragons came back with five more runs in the top of the second inning.
Adam Berry was safe on an error, Chad Fisher and Nathaniel Burcham singled and Jordan had a two-run double. Easterling capped the rally with a three-run homer.
Rock Hill came back to score four in the bottom of the inning.
Alex Bare and Herbie Butterbaugh walked, Ryan Hackworth singled and Mitchell Davenport doubled.
Rock Hill got two runs in the fourth to close within 7-6.
Shane Russell singled, Davenport was hit by a pitch, both moved up on a wild pitch and Jeremy Blagg had a two-run single.
But Fairland opened up a 10-6 lead in the fifth inning.
“I like the way our kids responded when the game got close. We got baserunners on and we got them in,” said Snyder.
Tyler Thackston doubled, Matasich was hit by a pitch and Fisher clubbed a two-out, three-run homer.
“That was a big home run. It came when we really needed it,” said Snyder.
Fairland added a run in the sixth and then blew the game open with seven runs in the seventh inning. Thackston had a double among six hits to highlight the uprising.
Easterling was 2-4 with five runs batted in. Thackston, Fisher and Matasich were 3-4 and Jordan 2-3.
On Wednesday, Fairland hosts Coal Grove while Rock Hill (6-4, 4-3) entertains Chesapeake.
Fairland 250 031 7 = 18 15 0
Rock Hill 040 200 0 = 6 5 4
Nathaniel Burcham, Robbie Easterling (5) and Tyler Godby. Josh Malone, Hackworth (2), Devin Darby (7) and Cody Massie. W-Burcham (9-K, 5-BB, 2-HBP, 4-H, 6-ER). L-Malone. 2B-Fairland: Zach Jordan, Easterling Tyler Thackston 2; RH: Mitchell Davenport. HR-Fairland: Easterling, Chad Fisher. Hitting-Fairland: Zach Jordan 2-3, Robbie Easterling 2-4 5-rbi, Tyler Thackston 3-4, Zach Matasich 3-4, Campbell 1-1, Chad Fisher 3-4, Nathaniel Burcham 1-3; Rock Hill: Ryan Hackworth 1-3, Shane Russell 1-1, Mitchell Davenport 1-2, Jeremy Blagg 1-3, Alex Bare 1-2.