FAIRVIEW – West Point kept their chances of clinching the 5A, Area 12 championship alive when they defeated Fairview, 9-3, on Tuesday. Tonight, the Aggies got their revenge and then some as they not only swept the West Point Warriors in a doubleheader; they clinched the area championship themselves.
Fairview 13, West Point 3 (Game 1)
West Point got the scoring started in the opening inning of game 1. Matthew McDonald got a two-out rally started with a walk, then Sam Briehn hit a single to left-center, and they both moved up a base on a wild pitch. Hunter Persall got hit by the pitch to load the bases for Noah Allison, who hit a grounder to third that Ragan Ashley had go off his glove; McDonald scored on the play to give West Point a 1-0 lead. Fairview quickly answered in their half. Lane Schnittker reached on an infield single to lead off the inning. An out later, Preston Moore lined a double to deep left-center to move Schnittker over to third. Ashley then drew a walk to load the bases for Dayne Black, who delivered a two-run single to center field on the first pitch to put the Aggies up, 2-1. Ashley later scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 3-1.
Fairview added to their lead in their next at-bats. Riley Carroll reached on an infield single to lead off the second, then an out later, Schnittker reached on a bad throw by second baseman Cameron Bates when his throw went wide of second base. Clay Lanier drove in Carroll with an RBI double to left center on the first pitch to push the lead to 4-1. Moore added a sacrifice fly, then Ashley hit an RBI single to left field to widen the lead to 6-1. They added another run in the third on a Garret Dunn RBI groundout to make it 7-1.
West Point looked to cut into the lead in the fourth inning. Bates drew a one-out walk, then Levi Allred got hit by the pitch with two outs. McDonald drove in Bates with an RBI single to right field to cut the lead to 7-2. Fairview pushed their lead to 8-2 in their half when Lanier scored on a wild pitch.
A scary moment happened in the top of the fifth. Persall hit a pop up into shallow right field, and the second baseman, Lanier, and the right fielder, Truman Boyd, both had a chance to catch the ball, but neither could, both colliding hard. Boyd stayed down for a little bit before getting up, with a towel holding his nose. Logan Murphree took over in right field for the rest of the game. Persall ended up going to third on the play. Allison drove him in with an RBI double to deep center field to cut the deficit to 8-3.
Fairview added four runs in the fifth. Lanier hit an RBI double, Ashley hit an RBI single, and Black added a two-run single. Ashley ended the game in the sixth on another RBI single to put the final score at 13-3.
Derek Jones went the distance for Fairview, allowing just six hits and three runs, two of them earned, walking four, striking out two and hitting two batters. Lanier and Ashley had a combined six hits and five RBIs. Black had two hits and four RBIs. Moore had two hits and an RBI. Dunn added a hit and an RBI. Schnittker and Carroll each had two hits, and Boyd added a hit.
Kolton Easterwood went three-and-a-third, allowing nine hits and eight runs, seven of them earned, walking four and striking out one. Briehn finished the game, allowing seven hits and five runs in two-and-a-third, walking two and striking out one. Allison had two hits and an RBI. McDonald added a hit and an RBI. Persall, Gammon and Briehn each added a hit of their own for West Point.
Fairview 12, West Point 8 (Game 2)
After getting off to a slow start, the Aggies got their offense going in the fourth inning, getting some help from some sloppy pitching and defense by West Point. They put the game away late as a big sixth inning helped them win a back-and-forth game to clinch the area title.
Early on, though, it was West Point who got their offense jump-started. Persall led off the second inning with a single to right field, then Chance Martin added a single of his own, and they moved to third and second on the throw-in. An out later, Jacob Mosher lined a hard RBI single off the body of Moore at short to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. After Patrick McKeehan hit a single, Easterwood made it 2-0 with an RBI ground out.
McDonald got hit by the pitch with one out in the next inning. Persall reached on a throwing error, then Martin reached on an infield single. It looked like Schnittker would get out of the inning without a run allowed after getting Ryder Jones to pop out to catcher Bryson Fletcher, but Mosher had other ideas, delivering a two-run single to widen the lead to 4-0. They made it 5-0 in the fourth on an Allred RBI single.
Fairview did not have a base hit through three innings, but all of that changed in the fourth as they batted around. Lanier lined a single to left field for their first hit of the game, and that ended Blake Diestelow's night. Jones relieved him, and things got worse for him and the Warriors, as Lanier moved to second on a fielding error, and then consecutive wild pitches brought him in for the first run of the game for Fairview. Moore drew a walk, and he moved to second on another wild pitch, and later scored on a throwing error by the catcher, Allison. Ashley drew another walk, then Fletcher reached on an infield single, and Brett Garner walked to load the bases for Murphree, who drew one of his own to cut the deficit to 5-3, which ended Jones's night, as Allred came in as the new pitcher. Scoot Bennett hit a sacrifice fly to make it a 5-4 game, then Dunn hit a single to left field. A fielding error by the center fielder brought home two more runs to give Fairview a 6-5 lead as the inning came to a close.
Ashley reached with one out in the fifth inning when the second baseman dropped a pop fly, and Fletcher delivered an RBI single to left field to increase the lead to 7-5. West Point responded in the top of the sixth inning. A walk, then a hit by pitch, had West Point ready to tie the game or retake the lead. Two outs later, Murphree was one out away from getting out of the inning without giving up a run, then Persall drew a walk to load the bases, and Martin delivered, hitting a two-run single to center field to tie the game. Persall later scored on a wild pitch to give West Point the lead again at 8-7.
But Fairview responded in a big way in their half. Pinch-hitter Dayne Black reached on a fielding error by the first baseman, McDonald, to lead off the inning. Bennett came in to run for Black. Dunn moved him over to second with a sacrifice bunt, then Schnittker hit a single to right field on the first pitch. Lanier popped out to Allred for the second out, then Fairview went on their two-out rally, as Moore, Ashley, Garner and Matthew Holmes all had RBI singles. Another run scored on another McDonald fielding error put the Aggies back on top for good, but West Point made Murphree work for it in their last at-bats. Briehn hit a single, then Allred reached on an infield single, both with two outs, but Allison filed out to center field to end the wild back-and-forth affair.
Fletcher had two hits and an RBI for Fairview. Moore, Ashley, Garner and Holmes each had RBI singles in the game. Bennett had an RBI as well, as did Murphree. Lanier added a hit; almost all Fairview batters had at least one hit. With Curry splitting their games against Hayden, they, along with Fairview, finished tied for the top spot, but the Aggies will host the area tournament because they went 2-1 against the Yellow Jackets during the regular season. They improved their regular season record to 17-14 and will take on Columbia in their final regular season game next Tuesday at home at 6:30 p.m.
Martin went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for West Point. Mosher added two hits and three RBIs. Easterwood had a hit and an RBI. Allred had three hits and an RBI. McKeehan, Persall and Briehn each had a hit. The Warriors fell to 11-14 on the season and return home to take on Lawrence County in a doubleheader Friday at 10 a.m.
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