FAIRBORN — It looked like Fairborn was well on its way to victory over Springfield Catholic Central on a windy Thursday at Fairborn’s Skyhawk Stadium, but the Irish fought back late and made the Skyhawks earn it. Fairborn was able to stop their opponent’s momentum and gut out an 11-6 victory.
The Skyhawks (4-1) got hot early, scoring three runs in the second, third and fourth innings each. Kyle Keeton was dominating from the mound and the Fairborn bats were hot, and the Skyhawks nearly won by run-rule, leaving a runner on base in the fifth inning.
Fairborn had 27 hits in the game, and 11 RBIs. Senior Johnny Chaney had four RBIs and was 3-for-3 at the plate. Freshman Leighton Morh went 4-for-4 and had one RBI and scored two runs.
But after giving up two hits in the sixth inning, Keeton took a line drive to the chest and had to leave the game.
“We had a scary moment with him. He had a line-drive come back and hit him square in the chest,” said Fairborn coach Josh Patrick. “But he’s okay, thank the Lord. He’s also our lead-off and plays centerfield when he doesn’t pitch.”
Junior Sean Addis came in to replace Keeton, but then the Irish bats caught fire. Catholic Central (0-1) had six hits in the inning and scored three runs.
“We preach to the guys that when we get a team down, we make sure we keep them down. Tonight that didn’t happen,” said Patrick. “I feel that we maybe got a little bit complacent at times, but credit to (Catholic Central). They hit the ball hard late in the game, even with Sean Addis, one of our better guys. They were just hitting the ball hard, I don’t think we made mistakes.”
Fairborn did its job and scored more runs in the bottom of the sixth to build a cushion. They loaded the bases and scored when Addis got struck by a pitch and when junior Alec Voris hit a line drive to left center.
“We didn’t make a lot of errors defensively. We got a lot of guys some looks with some at-bats, so I’m very pleased with how our guys hit the ball today. Even our outs were hard outs,” said Patrick.
The Irish looked like they were ready to make a comeback in the final inning, scoring three runs early, but two batters in a row popped the ball up and ended the game.
“I feel like Fairborn has a really good squad, they have a lot of guys that really swing the bat well. I’m not disappointed that we stuck with it and put some runs on the board late. We made some errors that put us in some bad spots. We gave a lot from the mound,” said Catholic Central coach Brett Miller. “I’m not much for moral victories, but at the same time, you have to take each bat as it comes…I think those couple innings we milked out today will give us some experience.”
Fairborn is back at it when they face Sidney Lehman at noon, Saturday at Fifth Third Stadium, in downtown Dayton.