Griffins Down Eagles in Crosstown Showdown

Fairfield Central's Brandon Adams fouls off a pitch from RWA's John Lewis Friday. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Fairfield Central’s Brandon Adams fouls off a pitch from RWA’s John Lewis Friday. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

WINNSBORO (March 21, 2016) – After an emotional field dedication Friday to a fallen Eagle, Billy Ladd, Richard Winn Academy and the Fairfield Central Griffins met to renew their crosstown rivalry. Both teams were coming off of loses, and it was Fairfield Central who would find their way back into the win column, with a 15-0 pounding.

Both head coaches, although they may not always like the outcome, welcome playing their crosstown foes.

“We love playing Fairfield Central, we have a really good rivalry,” Richard Winn head coach Al Berry said. “We’ve played them for a long time, and our guys have all played together in youth ball coming up so it’s a unique situation. We don’t really like getting beat this bad but we really enjoy playing those guys.”

“It’s awesome. These kids grew up together,” Griffins head coach Scotty Dean said. “All of them played together this summer, all of them know each other, all of them are friends with each other, and I can’t think of situation that would keep us from playing them.”

Eagles starter John Lewis walked home a run in the first inning, but his two strikeouts stranded Stanley McManus in scoring position and prevented any further damage. Lewis struck out seven Griffins on the night, but still allowed seven runs on six hits in his four innings of work.

Toeing the mound for the Griffins was Lane Floyd, and he retired the Eagles in order to close out the first inning. Floyd was in total control throughout the game on his way to a four-hit complete-game shutout.

In the top of the second inning Fairfield Central’s Tracy Williamson reached second base on an error, and the very next batter, Travious Williams, brought him in with an RBI-single. With the Griffins up 2-0, Floyd delivered another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the second.

A pair of Rodderick Woodard and Antonio Jackson singles, followed by a McManus walk, loaded the bases up for the Griffins in the top of the third. Lewis composed himself to strikeout two consecutive batters, but before he could get out of the inning Williams had a huge three-RBI double to up the Griffins’ lead to 5-0.

“We’re still a young team,” Barry said. “We lost seven seniors last year, so in a lot of ways we’re still trying to find our way, and the big inning did definitely get our guys down a little bit, and it made it difficult for us to comeback.”

It was Hunter Glisson who broke the Eagles’ hitless streak with two outs in the bottom of the third. John Coleman, the next batter, grounded out to end any kind of threat in the inning.

Things kept getting worse for the Eagles in the fourth. Thanks to a Jackson RBI-double and an RWA error, two more Griffins came home to score.

Floyd found himself in a bit of trouble in the bottom half of the fourth. Chris Christianson reached base on an error, then Coker Gilbert notched his first hit of the game with a single that moved Christianson up into scoring position.

It was the Eagles’ first baserunner to reach scoring position in the game, but it would not pan out for coach Berry’s squad. Floyd got Jacob Steele to fly out, and the struck out opposing pitcher Lewis to squash any type of rally.

“When we throw strikes, and don’t make errors, we can play baseball as good as anybody, and I’ll take that to the bank,” Dean said. “I feel like we got three good pitchers. Lane was lights-out today. He didn’t have but two strikeouts, a bunch of fly ball outs, some ground-ball outs, and we just put it together when our pitchers throw strikes.”

Any further hopes for an Eagle comeback were dashed in the top of the fifth.

Lewis was lifted for Bryant Carvalho, who walked three of the first four batters he faced, and things didn’t improve from there. He allowed three runs in only two thirds of an inning pitched before being replaced by Christianson.

Christianson inherited a bases-loaded jam, and issued free passes to the first three Griffins he faced, including two hit batters. After the Griffins worked through their entire line-up, Tracy Williamson knocked in two runners with a single.

Travious Williams, who was 3-for-3 hitting, added two more to his RBI total with a base hit. Along with his three hits, Williams had six runs batted in.

By the end of the half inning the Griffins had scored eight more runs on just three hits, and pushed their lead to 15-0.

Floyd got Gunnar Hensley and Bryant Carvalho out to begin the final inning of play. Glisson and Coleman strung together a couple of singles, but Peyton Gilbert flied out to end the game.

“We had a couple of guys who did some things. The main thing is we’ve got to become a team that hits the ball better,” Berry said. “The few hits we had came from guys who haven’t producing lately so we feel like we did get one or two guys maybe back on track that had been struggling.”

Richard Winn is back on the diamond March 24 at Newberry Academy. They travel to King Academy April 7.

 

FC: 1-1-3-2-8

RW: 0-0-0-0-0

Pitching: FC – Lane Floyd (W), CG, SO, 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K. RW – John Lewis (L), 4IP, 6H, 7R, 5ER, 3BB, 7K, 1 HB; B. Carvalho, .2IP, 1H, 3R, 1ER, 4BB, 1K, 2HB; C. Christianson, .1IP, 2H, 5R, 4ER, 1BB, 1K.

Hitting: 1B – Rodderick Woodard(2), A. Jackson, T. Williamson, T. Williams (FC); H. Glisson (2), C. Gilbert, J. Coleman(RW). 2B – T. Williams, A. Jackson (FC). RBI – T. Williams (6), T. Williamson (2), A. Jackson (FC).

LOB: FC- 4, RW- 5.