Walks, Errors Doom Griffins

WINNSBORO (March 2, 2016) – The Fairfield Central Griffins looked to bounce back on the second day of the preseason tournament that the Griffins just so happened to be hosting. After Fairfield dropped the first game, the Ben Lippen Falcons stood between the Griffins and redemption.

Fairfield allowed only six hits, but thanks to some sloppy play and 11 unanswered runs, they lost by double digits, 14-3.

Stanley McManus took the starting nod for the Griffins, and things started out slightly bumpy for the junior, who serves double-duty as Fairfield’s quarterback in the fall. He allowed one run in the first, albeit off of a wild pitch.

Ben Lippen took the one-run lead into the bottom of the first, but displayed some sloppiness of their own. After a David Gibson groundout, Brandon Adams reached base on a walk.

On the very next at-bat an E-3 allowed McManus to reach base. The Falcons followed this up with two more errors, which allowed Adams to come home for the Griffins’ first run. The errors, besides giving up a run, let Fairfield extend the inning for Tracy Williamson.

Williamson took advantage of his opportunity and drove in a pair of runs with a 2-RBI single. The base knock extended the lead to 3-1, but the next batter up, Chris Simmons, struck out to put an end to the inning.

After an optimistic first, the wheels came off for the Griffins, both offensively and defensively. McManus, between wild pitches and walks, got himself into a bases-loaded jam in the top of the second.

Once the bases were loaded, McManus could not seem to compose himself, and allowed two more runs on a walk and a wild pitch. Ben Lippen delivered another devastating blow in the form of a 3-RBI triple that put the Falcons up 6-3.

“He’s our guy, and he can do it when he decides,” Griffins head coach Scotty Dean said of McManus, “but we walked too many people, then we came out in the bottom of the inning and put up three, made it 3-1. Then the second inning and he exploded. He had about six or seven walks. We can’t walk people.”

Fairfield finally escaped the brutality that was the top of the second inning, but their offense could not get any of the runs of the back as the Falcons locked down on their sloppy play.

Tydarious Young, Lane Floyd and Rodderick Woodard struck out in order to end the Griffins’ second inning without an inkling of offense.

Ben Lippen loaded the bases back up again in the third, and again a McManus wild pitch allowed a runner to score. At this point, Dean had seen enough and pulled the switch, swapping McManus with Antonio McDaniel.

The pitching change did not alleviate Fairfield’s issues. McDaniel walked his very first batter, allowing a runner to come home and score.

The Falcons were not done with their third inning scoring. After another walked-in run, a double scored two more, and the blowout was officially on.

“A walk is the worst thing in the history of the game of baseball,” Dean said. “It ain’t good for the fans, it ain’t good for the person that’s hitting, it ain’t good for the person whose pitching, it ain’t good for the people that’s playing defense, it ain’t good for the people that’s watching the game.”

In the fifth inning, after another scoreless inning from the Griffins, and Ben Lippen nailed a 3-run homer to put the finishing touches on their 14-3 blasting.

“We didn’t play well, we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win,” Dean said. “I mean they only had six hits but they scored 14 runs, you would think they had 20 hits. Through the first two or three innings I bet we out-hit them, we’re just not very good right now, but we’re going to get there.”

BL: 1-5-6-0-3 – 14-6-3

FC: 3-0-0-0-0 – 3-2-8

Pitching: FC- McManus (L) 2.1 IP, 4H, 9R, 4ER, 6BB, 4K, 8WP. Malik Williams 2.2 IP, 2H, 5R, 4ER,4BB, 1K.

Hitting: 1B: Tracy Williamson. 2B: T. Williamson. RBI – T. Williamson (2).

LOB: 2