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Flyers, Riley concentrate on beating Fairview, 5-4

Once the St. Joseph Flyers got focused, their performance became clear.

The Flyers bounced back from a pair of lop-sided losses by beat the Fairview (Ky.) Eagles 5-4 Thursday on Senior Night.

“We played a whole lot better today. We were much more focused. I’m proud of the way they bounced back after a tough week,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant.

Tanner Riley allowed just four hits — two were a pair of two-run homers — while striking out 10 and walked only one.

Bryant said Riley was the victim of the short dimensions of the Ironton Senior League, the Flyers’ homefield.

“Tanner pitched well. He threw better than the score indicates. He gave up a pair of two-run home runs that would have been outs on any other field,” said Bryant.

“We’ve given up eight home runs in our last three games and only one of them was hit well. But we play here, too, so we can’t complain.”

Aaron Lowe doubled and Jacob Bradley hit a two-out, two-run home run for Fairview in the top of the first inning, but the Flyers answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Payton Blair doubled and then Ben Higgins, Justin Mahlmeister and Riley all walked to force in a run. Joe “The Shoe” Unger hit into a fielder’s choice and a throwing error on the play scored Higgins and courtesy runner Wain Artis.

St. Joseph went up 5-2 in the fifth.

Mahlmeister singled, Riley walked and courtesy runner Artis was thrown out stealing.

But Unger doubled and T.J. Young followed with a two-run single.

The Eagles got two runs in the top of the sixth inning when Lowe reached on an error and Bradley hit another two-run, two-out home run.

St. Joseph (13-5) hosts Trimble next Thursday in the Division IV sectional tournament.

Fairview 200 002 0 = 4 4 1

St. Joseph 300 020 x = 5 6 3

Zach Messer, Brett Ritchie (5) and Chuck Leadingham. Tanner Riley and Justin Mahlmeister. W-Riley (10-K, 1-BB, 2-ER). L-Messer. 2B-Fairview: Aaron Lowe; St. Joseph: Joseph Unger. HR-Fairview: Jacob Bradley 2. Hitting-Fairview: Aaron Lowe 2-3, Jacob Bradley 2-2; St. Joseph: Payton Blair 2-4, Justin Mahlmeister 1-3, Tanner Riley 1-1, Joseph Unger 1-3, T.J. Young 1-2.