Griffins retire jersey, honor seniors

The Fairfield baseball family welcomed the parents of fallen Griffin Mykel Beaufort and presented them with Beaufort’s newly retired jersey. | Ross Burton

WINNSBORO – The Griffins hosted Batesburg-Leesville Friday night in their regular season finale, but it was not the result the Griffins wanted before they head into the playoffs. The Panthers went up early, and errors hurt the Griffins’ chances of keeping the game close. Batesburg came out on top 17-4 after five innings.

Prior to the game, not only did the Griffins honor their seniors, but they also retired the number-22 jersey of Mykel Beaufort. Beaufort, 15, passed away in an automobile accident in December.

Griffin seniors Antonio Jackson (5), Jeffery Truesdale (11) and Harvey Smith (20) were honored prior to the Fairfield’s contest against Batesburg Leesville. | Ross Burton

“I thought it was outstanding,” Griffins’ head coach Scotty Dean said. “Mykel Beaufort, A’s and B’s, nice fellow, mild-mannered, never disrespected anybody. For any parent to lose a kid, that’s tough and we wanted to show her some love and show her that we still think about him and think about her. As long as I’m here I won’t let anybody play in 22.”

Fairfield had bumpy top half of the first inning, highlighted by a Panthers’ RBI-double, two walks, an error and three runs. Panther’s starting pitcher Payton Dawkins sat the Griffins’ down in order in the first and breezed through the second inning.

The Panthers plated eight more runs in the second inning, and six of those runs came courtesy of five Griffin errors and a wild-pitch. Kolby Craps scored Batesburg’s only earned runs of the inning with a two RBI-double.

Batesburg-Leesville’s punishment continued in the top of the third as they padded the lead with three more runs. Tristan Wheeler scored a run with a double, and Payton Dawkins picked up two more RBIs on a double of his own.

Chazzi Jones and Montavious Thompson picked up the Griffins’ first two RBIs of the game in the bottom of third inning, but the Panthers erased the effort with three more runs in the top of the fourth.

Taylor Truesdale notched the Griffins’ third run of the game with an RBI-grounder, and Antonio Jackson had a sac-fly RBI for Fairfield’s fourth and final run of the game.

“A couple of them fly ball errors we had makes it tough,” Dean said. “Then the pitcher struggling to throw strikes, I think we walked 39 people in the last four games. I know we had about 17 against Indian Land and 13 against them on Tuesday. I’m still excited about our young baseball team we just at times we struggle and the youth of our team shows.”

FCHS:0-0-2-1-1- 4
KHS:3-8-3-3-0- 17

Pitching: FCHS – Antonio Jackson (L), 3.1 IP, 17R, 8ER, 5H, 4K, 8BB. Taylor Truesdale, 1.2 IP, 0R, 0ER, 2H, 3K, 2BB. BLHS – Payton Dawkins (W), 2IP, 0R, 0ER, 1H, 2K. Chase Rikard, 1IP, 2R, 2ER, 2H, 2K. Reid Watson, 1IP, 1R, 1ER, 1H, 1K. Rafeal Gonzales – 1IP, 1R, 1ER, 0H, 2K, 3BB, 1HB

Hitting: 1B -Chazzi Jones, Harvey Smith(FCHS). Rafeal Gonzales (3), (BLHS).2B -Montavious Thompson (FCHS). Tristan Wheeler (2), Reid Watson, Kolby Craps. (BLHS). 3B – Chris Simmons (FCHS).