Trojans play Wilton close at Busch Stadium
ST. LOUIS – Only those wearing black, orange and blue remained in a stadium accustomed to fans adorned in red.
Wilton and Fairfield took to the turf Sunday inside Busch Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, and delivered a tight contest in front of friends and family.
The Miami Marlins defeated St. Louis 8-4. Once the grounds crew made the pristine playing suface tidy once again, the Trojans and the Beavers took to the field.
Both coaching staffs used grades 9-12 in an effort to get each baseball program participant on the field to enjoy the experience of playing at a professional venue. Through seven innings, Wilton overtook Fairfield 3-2, which was the official ending to the varsity game. From there JV and freshman players took over. The final overall score through nine innings was 7-2 in favor of Wilton.
“[It was a] great experience and great weekend for Fairfield in St Louis,” Fairfield coach Josh Allison said. “We really appreciate all the parents, family, businesses and fan support for the trip.”
All 45 players on Fairfield’s roster made it into the ballgame, with the only exception being junior Narendra Martin, who currently has a broken bone in his arm.
Fairfield sent 10 pitchers to the mound. The first four, Austin Gridley, Joe Hietpas, Cameron Baumann and Wyatt Stark, combined for 10 strikeouts.
A Kooper Dahlstrom RBI single through the left side of the infield scored Jordan Reid and put the Trojans ahead in the first inning. Graham Kuehl hit a RBI single in the seventh. Micah Harris scored a run and had two singles. Giovanni Cingire, Hunter Hoskins and Brandon Smithburg produced hits as well.
“Compliments to Fairfield as one of the guys in charge of the amateur games said that [Sunday’s crowd] was the biggest crowd that he had seen stay for a high school,” Allison said.
The Trojans had their fun Sunday, but Fairfield (19-7, 8-3 SEC) took care of business far before ever reaching Busch Stadium. The Trojans hosted Keokuk (16-15, 5-6 SEC) Thursday and swept their Southeast Conference foes with scores of 2-1 and 9-5.
Baumann ripped two solo home runs, the second of which was a walk-off, in the game one victory. The freshman now leads the Trojans in home runs with seven and in batting average (.455).
Hietpas supplied another dominant pitching performance. The senior hurler allowed just one hit and zero earned runs in seven innings while striking out 14 Chiefs. Now wielding a 6-0 record and a miniscule 0.33 ERA, Hietpas has allowed just eight hits over 42 2/3 innings this season.
A seven-run fifth inning put Fairfield up for good in game two. Dahlstrom, Alex Crile and Mason Ellis each finished the game two RBIs.
“We put together the big inning we had been missing,” Allison said.
Seven different Trojans crossed the plate in the game.
Fairfield will continue its quest to win the Southeast Conference tonight when it travels to Mt. Pleasant for another doubleheader. Washington will host the Trojans on Thursday.