COLUMBIA —Weather permitting, Fairfield Central will seek its first region win at Eau Claire on March 18.
Griffin head coach Scotty Dean said if the two teams are forced to reschedule, they would most likely have to wait to play until after spring break.
At press time, the game time temperature was predicted to be in the 30’s along with precipitation.
Eau Claire is coming off a 13-1 loss to Pelion this past Friday (March 17), but according to Dean, the Shamrocks have arguably the best player in the region, Wallace Green.
Dean says Green throws the ball extremely hard and can reach speeds up to 90 miles per hour.
“We’ve been telling our hitters to use their same swing, just start it sooner,” he noted. “They have to make sure to start their swing early and get their plant-foot down in time. If they wait to start their swing, it’ll be too late because the ball will already be by them.”
The Griffins have yet to play a home game and Dean believes this year’s schedule represents the true grind that is baseball season.
“When you go on the road in baseball season you’re playing on a lot of school nights and its tough,” he stated. “But there is still a lot of baseball left to be played and a lot of things we’re going to have to fight our way through.”
Fairfield started region III-AA play Friday night with a 6-4 loss at Columbia.
Compton Walker took the loss for the Griffins after throwing all six innings, walking three and striking out five.
The first six Columbia batters reached via single, hit by pitch, hit by pitch, walk, walk and a single.
After it was all said and done, Fairfield had spotted the Capitals a 4-0 lead.
The Griffins continue to fight back though and tied the game 4-4 in the sixth inning, however the tie game would be short lived because Columbia scored the two go-ahead runs in the bottom of the inning to seal the 6-4 victory.
Fairfield had an opportunity in the top of the seventh inning with the bases loaded, but Walker popped up to end the threat.
“We had a chance to make something happen, but hats off to Columbia High because they did what they had to do to win the baseball game,” Dean said. “We didn’t play bad but they just played solid baseball and that first inning really came back to bite us.”
Walker finished 0 for 4 at the plate.
Tavaris Cook reached base four times with a double and three walks.
Javaris Cook reached base three times with a single and two walks.
T. Cook got on base four times with a double and three walks.
Freshman Stanley McManus had two hits and a walk in the losing effort.
Dean fully expects the level of competition to stay high during region games.
“In baseball anybody can beat anybody,” he noted. “If you have someone who can throw strikes and you can play good defense behind him, you’ve got a chance to win. Right now we’re not good enough to come from behind. Until we put it all together we can’t take any team in our region for granted.”
On Thursday (March 13), the Griffins fell to the Bulldogs of Newberry 12-2.
Vincent Beaver took the loss after allowing six runs on two hits, four walks and four strikeouts in two innings of work.
The Bulldogs scored the first two runs of the ballgame and never trailed.
Collectively, the Griffins only had three hits as a team.
“We just didn’t play well enough to win,” Dean stated. “We walked too many batters and committed five errors. Its amazing what throwing strikes and catching the ball can do. Those simple things are huge in a baseball game. If you can do them, you win, and if you don’t, then you lose.”