WINNSBORO — The Fairfield Central baseball team won its third region game in a row on Friday when they defeated EauClaire 11-1 in five innings.
The Griffins are now in second place in region III-AA with a 4-2 record.
Fairfield Central head coach Scotty Dean thinks his team is starting to come together.
“We’ve got a good baseball team and when we throw strikes we’re as good as any team we’ll play,” he said. “I always think our kids play hard and they’ve got talent. I like our baseball team. I like our kids and they’re fun to be around and they’re starting to have fun around each other.”
The Shamrocks did threaten though, as they took a 1-0 lead early in the first inning.
Dean was pleased his team was able to climb out of the hole, but would like to see the Griffins shake off their first inning woes permanently.
“I feel like if we can get past that first inning, then we’re pretty good,” Dean stated.
After his defense committed two errors with two outs, Fairfield starter Stanley McManus gave up an RBI double.
However that’s all the Shamrocks would get on the night as McManus would only give up two more hits as he coasted to the win.
Fairfield Central’s defense did not commit another error.
McManus struck out eight hitters and never threw more than 15 pitches in an inning.
“That’s right on point and right where we want him to keep his pitch count down,” Dean noted after the game.
McManus threw just 65 total pitches in five innings of work.
In fact, he struck out the final six batters in a row to end the game.
The Griffins didn’t trail for long as they put up three runs in the bottom of the first nullify Eau Claire’s quick start.
Fairfield’s first three hitters reached base.
Compton Walker plated two runners with a double to left field and then came around to score on a ground out off the bat of J.K. Kennedy.
Walker was an offensive juggernaut for the Griffins Friday night as he blasted the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning over the left field wall for two more runs.
He finished 2-3 at the plate with four runs batted in and two runs scored.
Lead-off hitter Tavaris Cook did his job as well, as he set the table for his teammates and reached base all three times at the plate.
Cook scored three times, had one hit and knocked in a run.
Leading late in the game with a large margin, Dean began to empty out his bench and liked what he saw.
“The bench players did their job,” he said. “They come in everyday ready to play. I’ve got so many guys on this team that can play.”
In the fifth, Jaylen Davis earned a walk and scored and Jesse Broome reached on a walk and stole a base.
Fairfield’s contest against Richard Winn Academy on Monday was rained out and will be rescheduled after Spring Break.
The Griffins will continue region play tonight (April 8) at Keenan and then host Pelion on Friday (April 11).
Fairfield is still in second place in region III-AA and have the inside track to host a playoff game.
Until last year, the Griffins had never had a home playoff game.