Volunteers Force Griffins into Must-Win Situation

Jesse Broome (19) battles the sun while Compton Walker backs up the throw from the catcher on the steal by Andrew Jackson’s Logan Lucas (15).

The Fairfield Central Griffins have their backs against the playoff wall, having been gunned down Friday night by the Andrew Jackson Volunteers and their smoking right-hander Tripp Rollings, 9-1 at Griffin Field.

Rollings was mesmerizing, with a blistering fastball that raced into the 90s and a curve that broke 3-feet in the mid-60s. The Volunteer’s ace went all seven Friday, striking out 18 Griffins while walking one and hitting two. Rollings used only 98 pitches, 70 of them going for strikes.

Stanley McManus, meanwhile, worked six innings for the Griffins, facing one batter in the top of the seventh as his pitch count reached 115. McManus struck out six Volunteers, walked five and hit one batter.

The Volunteers plated three in the top of the first as Austin Wrape doubled in Neal Chandler, who had walked with one out. A single by Seth Graves brought in Rollings, who had drawn an intentional pass, and Wrape. Wrape drove in Rollings again in the third to make the Volunteer lead 4-0.

Rollings’ only struggles came in the bottom of the fifth when, with one out, he plunked Jarvis Kennedy and walked Chris Raley before striking out Nick Goins for the second out. Rollings then hit Javarius Cook with an inside pitch. An error by the Volunteer short stop allowed Brandon Adams to reach and Kennedy to score, but the rally ended when Rollings struck out Compton Walker on five pitches. Rollings settled down to strike out the side in order in the sixth and seventh.

The Volunteers added one more in the sixth and four in the seventh to seal the win and drop the Griffins into the loser’s bracket.

Fairfield Central will host Central High School tomorrow night (April 30) at 6:30 p.m. in a do-or-die rematch of Thursday’s historic game one.

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