Fairfield baseball sweeps in conference opener
For Fairfield head coach Josh Allison, the hardest part about Fairfield’s doubleheader vs. Keokuk Thursday was identifying everything that went right.
The Trojans won the opening game 7-3 and took the nightcap 14-4 in their Southeast Conference opener in Fairfield.
“It’s hard to know where to start with highlights. We had so many great things happen,” said Allison. “A lot of clutch hits, a couple good defensive plays and the pitchers did what needed to be done.”
“I think the boys are settling into their roles and believe in themselves, and they believe in their teammates,” the head coach added.
The Trojans kicked off the opening game with a 4-0 lead after two innings. Austin Gridley doubled home Darrin Dimmitt in the first inning. In the second, Kooper Dahlstrom hit an RBI double, Tyler Cooksey scored on a throwing error and Darrin Dimmitt came around a second time on a double by Joe Hietpas.
Keokuk scored its first run off Hietpas, who started for Fairfield, in the fourth inning, and then cut the deficit to 4-3 after five.
But in the bottom of the fifth, the Trojans added a pair of insurance runs when Josh Dimmitt scored on a double by Mason Ellis and Dahlstrom knocked in Ellis with a single.
Darrin Dimmit, who finished game one 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot, batted in Spencer Peterman in the sixth for Fairfield’s final run.
Also for Fairfield, Hietpas was 2-for-4 from the plate, and Ellis and Dahlstrom finished 2-for-3.
Hietpas allowed three runs in six innings of work, striking out 11 and giving up five hits. Peterman earned the save in one inning of relief, allowing no runs and punching out one batter.
Then, in the nightcap, Ellis and Dahlstrom both cleared the fences with home runs, and Hietpas was a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate as Fairfield needed just five innings to complete the sweep.
“Kooper and Mason are both swinging well, and it’s fun to see them knock a couple out of the park,” Allison said. “Joseph is really starting to find his groove with the swing as well.”
After giving up three runs in the top of the third to trail 4-2, Fairfield responded with four straight two-out hits in the bottom of the inning. Narendra Martin knocked in Gridley and Darrin Dimmitt followed with a bases-clearing double to hand Fairfield the 6-4 lead. Hietpas singled in Darrin Dimmitt and Josh Dimmitt batted in Hietpas with a double.
“The boys showed good resiliency. After giving up the lead with the three-run home run in the top of the third, we answered back with a six spot,” said Allison.
The next two innings would be more of the same for Fairfield, as it poured in three more runs in each inning for the 10-run rule victory.
Darrin Dimmitt, Hietpas and Ellis knocked in three runs apiece. Dahlstrom had two RBI and Gridley scored twice.
From the pitcher’s mound, Ryan Gaumer allowed three earned runs in five innings of work. He fanned 10.
The Trojans (4-2, 2-0 SEC) return to action Monday at Mount Pleasant.
Fairfield vs. Keokuk (Game 1)
Keokuk – 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 — 3 6 4
Fairfield – 1 3 0 0 2 1 0 — 7 10 0
FAIRFIELD — D. Dimmitt 2-4, RBI, R; Hietpas 2-4, 2B, RBI; J. Dimmitt R; Gridley 1-3, 2B, RBI; Ellis 2-3, RBI, R; Cooksey 1-3, R; Dahlstrom 2-3, RBI, R; Peterman R
Pitching — Hietpas (W) 6 INN, 3R, 3ER, 5H, 11K, 5BB; Peterman (S) 1 INN, 0R, H, K, BB
Fairfield vs. Keokuk (Game 2)
Keokuk – 1 0 3 0 0 — 4 6 3
Fairfield – 0 2 6 3 3 — 14 10 1
FAIRFIELD — D. Dimmitt 1-4, 2B, 3RBI, R; Hietpas 3-3, 3RBI, 2R; J. Dimmitt 1-3, 2B, RBI; Gridley 1-3, 2B, 2R; Ellis 1-3, HR, 3RBI, 3R; Cooksey 1-1, 3R; Dahlstrom 1-2, HR, 2RBI, 2R; Leonard 1-3; Martin 1-3, RBI, R
Pitching — Gaumer (W) 5 INN, 4R, 3ER, 3H, 10K, 3BB