Trojans grab important SEC victoriesFairfield 6-2 in conference play
It’s an old baseball trick, yet it never gets old.
Fairfield sophomore third baseman Jordan Reid returned to the dugout after hitting a solo home run during game one of a doubleheader Monday against Washington at Fairfield Middle School.
Instead of being congratulated by his teammates, they ignored him. After about 10 seconds in the dugout, their stoic faces melted into smiles and they converged on their teammate to commend him for hitting his first ever varsity homer.
“My swing was on top and it felt good swinging the bat tonight,” Reid said.
The Class 3A No. 5 Trojans (16-4, 6-2 SEC) took both games of the Southeast Conference doubleheader, the first by the score of 4-0 and the second 9-8.
Starting pitcher Joe Hietpas (4-0) threw a complete game shutout in game one. Hietpas allowed just one hit and one walk, and struck out 11 batters overall. In five starts, he has only allowed five hits and owns an ERA of 0.51 on the year.
The senior worked fast and was consistently in a steady groove.
“Hietpas was just on,” Washington coach Nathan Miller said. “When you have a really good pitcher who is commanding everything, you’re going to have a really tough time offensively.”
Reid went 3-3 with the aforementioned home run and two doubles. Mason Ellis had a RBI single and Kooper Dahlstrom smacked a RBI double. Mason Quigley delivered the only hit of the ballgame for Washington. Freshman Zach Londberg started on the mound for the Demons and went six innings, allowing 11 hits and one walk in the process.
Passed balls and wild pitches were plentiful for both sides in game two. After the third inning, Fairfield led 8-6, yet both teams combined had only eight hits. In the end, four Washington errors played a huge role in Fairfield scoring runs early on.
“In the second game we were our own worst enemy,” Miller said. “We jumped out to a lead, but our Achilles’ heel all year has been giving up the big inning. We did that tonight because of costly mistakes and we have to get mentally tougher during certain periods of games.”
Cameron Baumann pitched the final five innings of game two. He struck out 11 batters, walked two and gave up just two hits. In the top of the seventh inning, Washington power hitter Walker Breard crushed his fourth home run of the year over the right field fence, which tied the game at eight. Breard, who was hitting .457 before the doubleheader, had been held in check all night. He seemed due for a big hit, and the senior delivered.
“It would have been easy for the boys to let the wind out of their sails and just be done,” Fairfield coach Josh Allison said. “But they didn’t do that. They came back the entire game.”
Micah Harris started the rally for Fairfield in the bottom of the seventh inning by hammering a double down the left field line. Two batters later, a fielder’s choice from Narendra Martin drove Harris home.
The final play provided plenty of controversy. Washington believed a diving play was made by the third baseman, who then tagged third base to double off Harris and effectively end the inning. However, the umpire said the ball bounced first, meaning Harris was safe at the plate and the game was over. Both sides saw the final play through a biased lens, yet the umpire’s call is what matters.
“We got the job done and we learned how to win tonight,” Reid said.
Harris and Baumann each had two hits. Martin recorded two singles and scored on three occasions. As for the Demons, Jacob Green scored two runs and supplied a huge two-out single that drove in two runs in the second inning. Dakota Cron drove in two runs as well.
The games were originally supposed to be played in Washington, but the location of the doubleheader was changed when the Demons’ field was deemed unplayable. With help, Allison and the Trojans were able to put in approximately five hours of work on their home field so the games could be played in Fairfield.
“It was a little wet tonight,” Allison said. “The dirt actually played a little better than I was anticipating because it was really wet. We were under the gun trying to get the field ready in time, and it took a lot of bags of Quick Dry to get it done.”
The Trojans will make the trip to Washington later in the season so each team gets the opportunity to host the other. Washington (7-8, 2-5 SEC) will play at Highland on Wednesday. Fairfield will play at Muscatine the same night.
Recap – Game 1
Washington – 0000000 – 0 1 2
Fairfield – 003010x – 4 11 0
Recap – Game 2
Washington – 3300002 – 8 6 4
Fairfield – 2330001 – 9 7 1