BEAVERCREEK — Fairborn had a tough test against Beavercreek on the road Thursday at Beavercreek High School, and although they pulled out to an early lead, they couldn’t finish and lost 3-2.
The Skyhawks (7-7) put two runs on the board in the second inning and it looked like it was going to be another case of Fairborn knocking the ball around. Ryan Profitt knocked a single to left field, then Josh Chavez got to first on a fielder’s choice. After Chavez stole second, he was brought home by a single from Jacob Webb. Webb was able to then steal second and third base on a botched throw to home plate. Leighton Mohr then batted in Webb.
But that would be it for runs for the Skyhawks. Beavercreek (11-3) played solid defense for the rest of the game and slowly chipped away at the lead. In the bottom half of the second inning, Mike Elmore was walked and eventually brought home by Nick Massey. Massey had two RBIs for the Beavers on the day. Beavercreek loaded the bases but a fly out and a 6-4-3 double play got Fairborn junior Kyle Keeton out of the inning relatively clean.
Fairborn coach Josh Patrick said his team has struggled in close games.
“We just can’t get over that hump right now. We’re facing quality opponents this week - Springboro two times, these guys tonight and tomorrow we go against Centerville. We knew this week was going to be tough as coaches and as a program, we knew this week was going to be a testament to what type of team we are,” he said. “Honestly, those guys just have to get over that little bit of a hump. I think there’s been two games where we didn’t have a lead, and every other game we’ve had a lead and we can’t finish games. I’m not going to give any excuses because we tell the guys no excuses, so we just got to get the job done.”
Keeton pitched the entire game for Fairborn, striking out two but giving up seven hits and three earned runs. He also walked five batters. Quentin Walker pitched six innings for the Beavers and Alex Anders came in to close out the seventh. Walker fanned five and gave up just five hits. He walked two and gave up the two runs in the second inning.
Beavercreek got the go-ahead run in the six inning. Jackson Back and Brett Brunswick were both walked and Massey ripped a double up the middle of the field, scoring Back. With Anders on the mound for Beavercreek, Fairborn got the tying run all the way to third base, but couldn’t bat him in. Webb knocked in a single to get on base and Mohr and Aaron Childers both got bunts that advanced the runner but also put two outs on the board. Keeton then knocked a ball right to the short stop who threw him out at first and ended the game.
Beavercreek coach Brandon Long joked that he wasn’t sure what to say for how his team pulled out the win, saying they should have played better.
“We did battle back a little bit, but I feel like we should have had a better approach at the plate. Our approach there early was not good, but we remedied it,” he said. “Our game plan was to get quality at bats, play defense and fill up the strike zone. We played okay defense, but it was too close for comfort. We don’t like games like that.”
Patrick took the blame for calling four bunts in a row in the final inning. He said he should have adjusted when he saw the Beavers anticipating the bunt.
“I got outcoached. I’m going to admit that right there. We didn’t execute at times when we needed to, but in the clutch situation I should have made a different decision than I did,” he said. “With zero outs, that’s acceptable. But with one out it’s unacceptable.”
Both teams are back at it today with Fairborn playing at 5 p.m. at Centerville, and Beavercreek hosting Springboro at 5 p.m.