Hietpas, Crile lead Trojans over Warriors
The bottom of the batting order provided more than enough power for the Fairfield baseball team Friday in its 9-0 victory over Van Buren at Fairfield Middle School.
Sophomore Alex Crile, who was batting ninth, came up with the bases loaded in the third inning. Crile connected with a Garrett Saunders pitch and sent the ball soaring over the right field fence for a grand slam. A mile-wide grin broke out over Crile’s bespectacled face as he rounded third base and shook Fairfield coach Josh Allison’s hand.
“Alex hit into some tough luck early in the week with line drives right at people,” Allison said. “I knew as long as he didn’t start pressing he would come up with some big hits for us.”
The grand slam made the game 8-0, which is all Fairfield pitcher Joe Hietpas needed. Hietpas, who is now 5-0 with a 0.40 ERA this season, allowed just two hits and struck out 11 batters. Another complete game shutout was the final result. Hietpas has only allowed seven hits and two earned runs all season.
Narendra Martin, Fairfield’s normal leadoff man and shortstop, missed the game because of a college visit. Even without one of their best players in the lineup, the Trojans continued to hit the ball effectively.
“I really like how deep we are offensively and we are so close to clicking on all cylinders,” Allison said.
Crile finished the game with five RBIs. Senior Mason Ellis went 2-3 with a double and two RBIs. Jordan Reid had a hit, scored a run and drove in a run in the second inning.
As for the Warriors, Robert Barker and Tyson Sprouse both singled in the top of the seventh inning to squash Hietpas’ no-hit bid. Saunders pitched three innings and gave up five hits, five walks and eight runs. Only three of the runs were earned. Sprouse pitched the final three innings and allowed just one run.
Class 3A No. 5 Fairfield (17-5) has now won five out of its last six games. The Trojans are scheduled to play a Southeast Conference doubleheader tonight at Fort Madison.
Class 1A No. 4 Van Buren (21-2) had its 11-game win streak broken by the Trojans. The Warriors followed up the loss by notching two wins Saturday in Wapello. Van Buren took down Wapello 10-6 in large part due to Brandon Plecker’s two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs. Barker, Noah Whitten and Tanner Smith each scored two runs. The Warriors took down West Burlington 12-2. Smith and Saunders both had three RBIs. Plecker and Pedrick Garrett both had two.
Van Buren – 0000000 – 0 2 3
Fairfield – 035010x – 9 7 0