Flyers give Lions 4-2 district win

Published 10:41 pm Saturday, May 18, 2024

St. Joseph Flyers’ shortstop Evan Balestra gets a Fairfield runner out at third base for a double play and looks quickly back toward home during Saturday’s Division 4 district semifinal game. The Flyers lost 4-2. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)


St. Joseph Flyers’ shortstop Evan Balestra getsthird baseman Carson Lyons throws to home and cuts down a Fairfield runner during Saturday’s Division 4 district semifinal game. The Flyers lost 4-2. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)


St. Joseph Flyers’ Brady Medinger begins his slide and he gets safely into third base where he scores during Saturday’s Division 4 district semifinal game. Medinger reached third when Evan Balestra  (standing on second base) doubled. The Flyers lost 4-2. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

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CHILLICOTHE — Gifting is to give something willingly. In other words, what the St. Joseph Flyers gave the Fairfield Lions was no gift.

The Flyers gave the Lions 4 unearned runs and lost 4-2 in the Division 4 district semifinals on Saturday at Veterans Stadium.

“The kids played hard and they did a good job against the number one seed,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant.

St. Joseph Flyers’ leftfielder Mason Weber catches a fly ball as ceterfielder Landon Rowe backs up the play. The Flyers lost 4-2. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)

“We gave them four runs but we didn’t hit the ball that well and we needed more clutch hits. There wasn’t much difference in the two teams. That’s a game we could easily have won. But give credit to them. They found a way to win.”

Fairfield (18-4) put the four unearned runs on the scoreboard in the second inning with a little help from the Flyers.

With two outs, Carson Chandler walked and Corey Zimmerman reached on an error which would have been the third out.

Zane Mathews singled to score Chandler and Gabe Fouch lined a triple to center field to score two more runs.

Cade Miller walked and then Fouch scored on a wild pitch. Corbin Willey grounded out to end the inning.

Miller struck out 7 straight batters after Landon “Rocky” Rowe grounded out to start the game. Mason Weber then singled to center field with 2 outs in the third inning for the Flyers’ first hit.

The Lions threatened in the third inning but the Flyers defense came through with a key defensive play.

Cody Frost singled and Wyatt Willey beat out an infield hit to start the inning. Blaine Fauber put down a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third.

The Flyers (15-7) pulled off a slick double play as Chandler bunted to third baseman Carson Lyons who threw home to catcher Drew Brown who tagged out Frost.

Brown then threw to shortstop Evan Balestra to cut down Willey trying to reach third base.

The Flyers threatened in the fourth with 2 outs.

Balestra drew a walk, Drew Brown reached on a 3-2 count wild pitch with Balestra going to third base. Darryn “Hitman” Harvey was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

But Miller got a strikeout to end the threat and the inning.s

The Flyers got their offense going in the sixth inning when Brady “Quinn” Medinger led off with a walk and Balestra following with a double down the left field line,

Harvey followed with a single to left field to score Medinger and send Balestra to third.

Pinch-runner Eli Whaley stole second and Lyons reached on an error to cut the deficit in half at 4-2.

The Flyers had 3 straight ground outs in the seventh to end the game.

Miller went the distance for the win as he gave up 3 hits, one earned run, struck out 11, walked 3 and hit a batter.

The Flyers used 3 pitches with starter Carson Willis taking the loss. Willis pitched 1.2 innings giving up 2 hits, 3 unearned runs and walked 2. Jake Stephens worked 2.1 innings giving up 4 hits, a run with a walk. Drew Brown went the final 2 innings giving up one hit with 2 strikeouts and one walk.

Fairfield will play Racine Southern at 4 p.m. on Monday in the district finals. Southern beat Green 7-5 in the other semifinal game.

St. Joseph 000 002 0 = 2 3 2

Fairfield   040 00x x = 4 7 1

Carson Willis, Jake Stephens (3), Drew Brown (5) and Drew Brown, Jake Stephens (5). Cade Miller and Blaine Fauber. W-Miller (IP-7.0, H-3, R-2, ER-1, K-11, BB-3, HBP-1, WP-1). L-Willis (IP-1.2, H-2, R-3, ER-0, K-0, BB-2). Stephens (IP-2.1, H-4, R-1, ER-0, K-0, BB-1, WP-3). Brown (IP-2.0, H-1, R-0, K-2, BB-1). Hitting-St. Joseph: Evan Balestra 1-2 2B, Darryn Harvey 1-2 RBI, Mason Weber 1-3; Fairfield: Zane Matthews 2-4 RBI, Gabe Fouch 1-3 3B 2-RBI, Corbin Willey 1-3, Cody Frost 1-3, Wyatt Willey 1-3, Corey Zimmerman 1-3.