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Dragons give Ward win in debut, 4-3

GALLIPOLIS — With Alex Thackston throwing pretty good, coach Bryan Ward was feeling pretty good.

Thackston pitched a five-hitter as the Fairland Dragons beat the Gallipolis Blue Devils 4-3 Tuesday to give Ward his first career win in his coaching debut.

“That was Alex’s first varsity game of his career and for a sophomore he was popping it. That was the hardest he’s thrown so far,” said Ward.

“It’s a good feeling (to win his first game), especially to get a win like that. We’re a young team and you don’t know what to expect. It’s nice to win against a quality team.”

Thackston racked up 13 strikeouts. He walked three, hit a batter and only two runs were earned. John Troester took the loss.

Fairland got a run in the second on single by Brandon Beagil, a walk and Javier Rowe’s RBI single.

Gallipolis scored in the third when Caleb Warnimont was hit by a pitch, moved up on a sacrifice and scored on a double off the fence by Kyle Dingus.

But the Dragons got two runs in the fifth to lead 3-1.

Tyel Duty singled, Jon Baise beat out a bunt and Matt Campbell was a safe on an error for a run. Thackston then singled home Baise.

Tyler Eastman reached on an error and Dingus tripled as Gallipolis got a run back in the fifth.

Fairland scored the winning run in the sixth on a two-out walk to Duty who stole second and came home on Baise’s base hit to right.

Gallipolis made it 4-3 in the bottom of the inning. Chuck Calvert walked, stole second, took third on an outfield fly and came home when David Stout singled.

Fairland plays at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Wayne, W.Va.

Fairland 010 021 0 = 4 7 2

Gallipolis 001 011 0 = 3 5 2

Alex Thackston and Matt Campbell. John Troester, Chuck Calvert (5), Justin Bailey (7) and Terry Smith. W-Thackston (13-K, 3-BB, 1-HBP, 2-ER). L-Troester (3-K, 1-BB, 3-H, 3-R). 2B-Gallipolis: Kyle Dingus. 3B-Gallipolis: Kyle Dingus. Hitting-Fairland: Tyler Duty 1-3, Jon Baise 2-4 RBI, had Fisher 1-3 RBI, Alex Thackston 1-4 RBI, Brandon Beagil 1-4, Javier Rowe 1-3; Gallipolis: Kyle Dingus 3-3, Caleb Warnimont 1-3, David Stout 1-3.