Panthers force split in baseball doubleheader
A two-out rally changed the complexion of Fairfield’s home Southeast Conference doubleheader against Mt. Pleasant.
Fairfield took the first game 6-0, but game two proved to be problematic. With two outs in the sixth inning and the game tied at two, the Trojans were just one out away from moving on to the next half inning unscathed.
The Panthers, however, had a rally in mind. Justin Dilks started it with a walk, which was followed by Pat Camby getting hit by a pitch and a double from leadoff hitter Justin Chalupa.
The next at bat got wacky. A wild pitch brought one run in to score, but an errant throw that was alertly picked up and thrown back home by first baseman Mason Ellis resulted in Chalupa being thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base. The two-three-two put out ended the inning, but Mt. Pleasant scored all it would need. The Panthers earned the doubleheader split by taking the second game 4-3.
Class 3A No. 7 Fairfield (11-4, 4-2 SEC) scored early on Mt. Pleasant (6-6, 3-1 SEC) in game one. A RBI single from Jordan Reid and a RBI groundout from Cody Craff put Fairfield on top in the second inning 2-0. Austin Gridley and Cameron Baumann both picked up RBI singles in the third. Baumann would crush his sixth home run of the season later in the game.
Fairfield ace Joe Hietpas was outstanding on the mound yet again. Hietpas pitched a complete game shutout and allowed just one hit. He struck out 12.
“We had great defense behind [Joe],” Fairfield coach Josh Allison said. “Reid and Narendra Martin both made great plays, and so did the outfield.”
The Trojans grabbed the lead early in game two, only to see Mt. Pleasant salt away the lead and eventually overtake them.
“There has been a difference with us between game one and game two,” Allison said. “Just like in Keokuk, in game two we got ahead early and we didn’t finish. It’s something that we need to learn how to do, but I guess we tip our caps to the Panthers today.”
Down 4-2, Fairfield mounted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Gridley launched a solo home run to cut the lead in half. With a runner on first and two outs, relief pitcher Carson Remick was taken out. Jordan Meyer was brought in and given a simple mission: get one more out.
“[Remick] is a one time through the lineup type of guy,” Mt. Pleasant coach Brent Broeker said. “He looked like he was tiring, and we had used him on Saturday too. Meyer is kind of our closer, so we thought it was the time to bring him in.”
Baumann roped a single off Meyer. The throw in from right field went to cut off man Justin Amos. Amos noticed Baumann had taken too wide of lead when he rounded first base, so he fired a throw over to Dilks, who tagged out Baumann and ended the game.
“We came out flat in the first game, which was disappointing,” Broeker said. “In the second game the intensity level rose and we got it done.”
Chalupa had three hits in game two. Austin Smith and Colton Schinstock both had a RBI. As for Fairfield, Reid and Ellis both had two hits. Gridley finished with two RBIs and Hietpas had one.
Fairfield will take on Central Lee tonight at home.
Recap – Game 1
Mt. Pleasant – 0000000 – 0 1 1
Fairfield – 022002x – 6 10 0
Recap – Game 2
Mt. Pleasant – 0010120 – 4 5 2
Fairfield – 0020001 – 3 10 0