Griffins One-Hit Capitals

Ta’Quan Kelly goes into second head-first.

The Fairfield Central Griffins baseball team earned another region win Tuesday night with an 11-0 victory over Columbia. The Griffins scored their 11 runs off just five hits. Fairfield Central was helped out by four errors, six walks, four wild pitches, two passed balls and one hit batter. The Griffins batted around in the fourth inning, scoring seven runs. With two outs on the board, the next seven Griffin hitters reached base. It all started when the number nine hitter, Brandon Adams, earned a two-out walk and then stole second base. After the game Fairfield Central head coach Scotty Dean talked about how he likes his team to be aggressive on the base path.

“We take pride in stealing bases,” Dean said. “It’s a way for us to create offense when our bats are cold.”

The Griffins stole five bases in the game and have now swiped 60 bags on the season. Fairfield Central starting pitcher Stanley McManus earned the win by throwing five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out eight. The lone hit for Columbia led off the game. McManus never faced more than five batters in an inning and Dean was proud of his starter’s performance on the mound.

“McManus has done a good job for us all year,” Dean said. “We talk a lot about strike percentage and a 15 pitch count per inning and when we get those numbers we’re pretty good.”

McManus’s numbers were right on par with that Tuesday night. He threw a total of 76 pitches (15.2 per inning) with only 29 of those floating out of the strike zone. The Fairfield Central defense was spotless for the first time this season committing zero errors. Dean knows that when you can combine good pitching with solid defense, the wins will follow.

“You cannot give teams extra outs and defense is something we preach,” Dean said. “When we don’t commit errors we’re just as good as any other team we’ll play.”

The Griffins have their sights set on earning the number two seed in region III-2A and hope to host a home playoff game. With a win at Eau Claire yesterday (March 28) the Griffins could lock up a playoff spot. Fairfield Central has just one senior on the roster and Dean looks forward to his team’s progression.

“This is a young baseball team,” Dean said. “But they’re learning and we’re excited and believe we’ll be able to compete in this region.”

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