Griffins beat York Prep with walk-off homer

Curtis Sampson’s walk-off dinger clinched the win over York Prep. | Shannon Clack Woodard

WINNSBORO – It could have been the 19-0 mercy run game against Columbia last Tuesday that lightened the Griffins’ load, or maybe they just got into a season rhythm – either way, Fairfield Central pulled off a 7-6 walk-off win over York Prep in Winnsboro last Wednesday.

The Griffins had fallen to York Prep 8-5 in Rock Hill on March 18, and they were looking for redemption.

Tied at six in the bottom of the seventh with a full count, Griffin centerfielder Curtis Sampson tapped a solo homer out of left field to clinch the win for Fairfield, their fourth of the season. Sampson’s homer was his third hit of the night. He led at the plate, going 3-4 with three RBIs.

Down 3-0 in the bottom of the first, Nygel Woodard chalked up a pair of RBIs with single to center in the close the gap 3-2.

York Prep added two more runs in the top of the second and held Fairfield scoreless in the bottom of the frame. Up 5-2, York Prep wouldn’t score again until the top of the sixth.

A fly ball to left put Blake Gambrell on second with one out in the top of the third. Jonathan Warren followed with a double to left that scored Gambrell. Warren advanced to third on a passed ball, but a strikeout and a groundout ended the inning.

With four Griffin fielding errors contributing to York Prep’s scoring in the first three innings and another to lead off the top of the fourth, Fairfield tightened up and seated the York Prep batters with a groundout, fielder’s choice and a fly to center.

The Griffins bats went to work in the bottom of the fourth.

Graeme Douglas singled on a bunt to third to lead off the inning. Douglas stole second. Yohance Harrison hit a ground ball to third and reached on an error. Douglas and Harrison stole second and third to give the Griffins two runners in scoring position. A strikeout followed, but a Brenton Mack bunt scored Douglas at home and put Harrison on third.

With two outs, Sampson picked up his first two RBIs of the night on a single to right that scored Harrison and Mack. Gambrell doubled to center to score Sampson. A fly out ended the inning, but Fairfield led 6-5.

York Prep left runners on second and third in the top of the fifth, but went 3 up, 3 down in the field.

Two more Griffin fielding errors in the top of the sixth tied the game at 6. Both teams went scoreless in their next at bats, leading to Sampson’s lead-off, walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh.

Douglas got the win on the mound. He threw seven innings. In 36 batters faced, he allowed eight hits, 6 runs, walked one and struck out one.

Fairfield followed up their thrilling win with a 15-0 mercy rule thump of Columbia on Friday. G Gonzalez threw three innings, allowed one hit, walked one and struck out four. Sampson, Gambrell, B Trapp, and Harrison had the Griffins’ only hits. Sampson, Gambrell, Warren, Belton, Mack, R. Woodard, N. Woodard, Robert Ramsey, and Jaylen Robinson accounted for the Griffins who reached base on walks. Columbia pitchers walked 12 batters in the three-inning contest.

The Griffins travel to Newberry tonight and follow with another away game at Eau Claire on April 4. They’ll host Airport, Dreher and Eau Claire next week.


YPA – 3-2-0-0-0-1-0 – 6, 8, 1

FCHS – 2-0-1-3-0-0-1 – 7, 8, 7

WP: Douglas. LP: Sneed

FC: Sampson 3-3, HR, 3RBIs. Gambrell 2-3, 2B, RBI. Warren 1-3, 2B, RBI. N Woodard 1-3, 2RBIs. Douglas 1-3.

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