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Adena slips past Fairland in district semifinals

CHILLICOTHE — Somebody should have brought some nerve pills.

The youthful Fairland Dragons felt the effects of being in the Division III district tournament as they suffered a 4-2 loss Thursday to the Adena Warriors at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

“We were a little awestruck early, but settled down. Their pitcher was a pretty nice kid. He got one pitch up and they hit it out. He threw pretty well. If we made a couple of plays it might have been different,” said Fairland coach Bryan Ward.

Pitcher Kirk Yates threw a five-hitter for Adena and hit a home run for the Warriors. Yates struck out seven and walked three.

Dragons’ pitcher Alex Thackston matched Yates as he tossed a six-hitter, striking out nine and walking just one batter.

The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Fairland took a 1-0 lead.

Jon Baise singled, stole second base, Thackston hit a rocket shot to Yates who was able to get Baise out. But Matt Campbell came through with a two-out RBI double.

Adena came back with three runs in the fifth inning to take the lead for good.

Colton Wheeler started the inning with a triple and scored on a double by Jordan Shepherd.

An error allowed Shepherd to reach third base as John Cottrill reached first. Thackston picked off Cottrill, but Yates belted a solo home run to give Adena its third run.

Fairland got within 3-2 with a run in the top of the sixth inning.

Chad Fisher had a leadoff single, stole second and third, Campbell walked and Eric Riley hit into a questionable double play that scored the run. Tyler Duty followed with a single but was left stranded.

Adena (19-8) answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when Casey Wood walked, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on an infield hit John Starr.

Fairland ends the season 16-5.

“I’m proud of the way the kids played. It was a great season,” said Ward.

Fairland 000 101 0 = 2 5 3

Adena 000 031 x = 4 6 2

Alex Thackston and Matt Campbell. Kirk Yates and Jacob Freeman. W-Yates (7-K, 3-BB). L-Thackston (9-K, 1-BB). 2B-Fairland: Matt Campbell; Adena: Jordan Shepherd. 3B-Adena: Colton Wheeler. HR-Adena: Kirk Yates. Hitting-Fairland: Jon Baise 1-4, Chad Fisher 1-3, Matt Campbell 1-2 rbi, Tyler Duty 1-3, Javier Roe 1-3; Adena: John Cottrill 1-3, Kirk Yates 1-3, Andrew Ferguson 1-3, Colton Wheeler 1-3, Jordan Shepherd 1-3, John Starr 1-3.