Hietpas leads Fairfield baseball to 10-4 win
When Joe Hietpas took the mound Wednesday in the first inning of Fairfield’s game vs. Davis County, he couldn’t have envisioned the frame going much worse.
The way he ended the game, though, was a different story.
The Trojan junior walked five and gave up three runs in the first inning, then settled in for one of the best games of his career to lead Fairfield to a 10-4 win over Davis County at Trojan Field.
Hietpas picked up his second win of the season, going five innings and allowing two hits while punching out five Mustang batters. But the most damage done by the junior was from the plate, where he finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Hietpas was 3-for-4, knocking in three runs and scoring three times. His home run, a three-run blast in the fifth inning, was the first of his high school career.
“I’ve put a lot of work into my hitting, and it feels good to finally get one,” Hietpas said of the dinger. “I think I hit my last when I was 13 years old.”
After getting a groundout to open the first inning, Hietpas appeared visibly frustrated with the muddy state of the mound and walked three straight Mustangs to load the bases. The junior then walked two more for runs, and Brett Dean singled home Calvin Utt to hand Davis County a 3-0 lead.
“The mound wasn’t in the best shape it’s been in, and I let it affect me a little too much,” admitted Hietpas.
Hietpas only walked one batter in his final four innings of work after issuing five walks in the first. In fact, only two more Mustangs got on base through the fifth inning.
Hietpas wasn’t the only pitcher who was frustrated with the condition of the mound to start, however. Davis County’s Park Mikels struggled with locating his pitches in the first, as well, and issued four walks.
Darrin Dimmitt got the inning started with a walk and subsequent steal, Hietpas singled and Austin Gridley walked to load the bases. Mason Ellis walked in a run for his first of two RBI on the day, and Kooper Dahlstrom smoked a bases-clearing, three-run double to hand Fairfield the 4-3 lead.
“I was really impressed with our bottom of the first. That was a big confidence boost,” said Fairfield head coach Josh Allison. “The boys kept chipping away and kept working at it.”
“Like Coach said, that’s the mark of a good team. The way we’ve been hitting, I knew we’d score those runs back,” Hietpas said. “After we scored those runs, that really helped me be more confident on the mound.”
Davis County never scored vs. Hietpas again, and Fairfield added onto its lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs in the inning, Hietpas doubled and Josh Dimmitt drew a walk, setting up Gridley for a two-run double.
Fairfield tacked on three insurance runs in the fifth thanks to Hietpas’ three-run, two-out homer deep over the left field fence.
Spencer Peterman took the mound in the sixth inning and struck out two while allowing one run — none earned — in the final two innings.
Also for Fairfield, Dahlstrom was 2-for-3 with three RBI and Ellis went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Gridley knocked in two runs on one hit.
The Trojans (6-3, 3-1 SEC) have now won six of the last seven games and will look to continue their solid play when they travel to Albia Friday.
“It was hard with all those rainouts at the beginning of the season, but now we’re starting to find our groove,” said Hietpas.
Fairfield vs. Davis County
Davis County – 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 4 3 1
Fairfield – 4 0 0 3 3 0 0 — 10 12 3
FAIRFIELD — D. Dimmitt 1-2, R; Leonard 1-1, R; Hietpas 3-4, HR, 2B, 3RBI, 3R; J. Dimmitt 1-3, R; Gridley 1-3, 2B, 2RBI, 2R; Ellis 2-3, 2RBI, R; Dahlstrom 2-3, 2B, 3RBI; Gaumer 1-1, R
Pitching — Hietpas (W, 2-1) 5 INN, 3R, 3ER, 2H, 4K, 6BB; Peterman 2 INN, R, 0ER, H, 2K, BB