Surviving a marathon

Fayette senior Jason Esau (left) slides into home plate safely past the tag by Glasgow pitcher Daniel McMillan on a wild pitch in the first inning Monday night. Esau scored six times against the Yellowjackets in Fayette’s 29-12 win.

Glasgow senior Josh Sanders connects with a pitch from Fayette’s Spencer Duren for a two-run home run in the first inning Monday. Sanders’ home run was one of 12 Glasgow hits against the Falcons.

By Greg Jackson
Sports Editor

Tuesday night in Glasgow felt more like a marathon than a baseball game.

For the second time in as many days, the Fayette baseball team fell behind early by five runs. And for the second time in as many days, the Falcons overcame an early deficit.

Fayette trailed 12-8 heading into the sixth inning, then scored eight runs in the sixth and 13 more in the seventh to win 29-12.

“I’ll take the victory every time I can get it,” Fayette head coach Garth Menees said. “I don’t think we were very focused in the first four innings. It was back and forth and then it got out of control.”

Fayette had the rally of all two-out rallies in the sixth inning. With a runner on first base and two outs, the next nine Falcons batters reached base safely. What almost was a shutout inning for Glasgow turned into a confidence boost for a Fayette offense that had struggled to hit in the clutch during the first five innings.

Fayette (2-0) tied the score 12-12 and then Chance Goff lifted a fly ball into deep center field. Alex Mathews had a beat on the ball, but the center fielder tripped near the warning track and the ball dropped to the ground for a two-run double. Tyler Busker and Lane Ball each had RBI singles later in the inning to give the Falcons a four-run cushion.

By the seventh inning, Fayette had worked Glasgow’s pitching pretty thin. The Falcons drew six walks and had seven hits in the final inning, which stretched a close game into a blowout.

Lane Ball picked up the win in relief, the second time a Fayette reliever has won a game this season. It was also his first career varsity win. He shut down Glasgow in the sixth and seventh innings to get the win, allowing four runs on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 3-2/3 innings of work.

Tuesday was Glasgow’s first game since last spring in districts. The Yellowjackets didn’t have enough players to field a team during the fall season.

“Most coaches don’t know what to expect coming into the spring, and I especially didn’t know what to expect when mostly everybody on the team have never even played baseball,” Glasgow head coach Mick Cropp said. “Every person, expect one, was in a position they had never played before.”

Three of the four players in Cropp’s starting infield, however, did play ball during the fall. Well, softball, to be more precise. Peyton Davis started at shortstop, Blakeley Fuemmeler played second base and Macleron Senor was at first base for the Yellowjackets.

Glasgow senior Josh Sanders belted a two-run home run over the left-center field fence in the first inning, which put Glasgow ahead 3-2 after one inning of play. Fayette threatened in the second inning, loading the bases with no outs. But starting pitcher Daniel McMillan retired the top of the Fayette batting order to keep the lead in Glasgow’s favor.

That inning was one of a few times Cropp said Glasgow was living on the edge.

“They had guys all over the bases and would run into an out,” Cropp said. “Or they would hit a line shot that resulted in an out. We were living right for a while. We found all the holes, had all the hit-and-runs.”

Fayette’s on-base percentage for the game was through the roof, but Falcons baserunners were tagged or forced out six times on the basepaths during the first five innings. Fayette picked up a run in the third inning and each team scored three times in the fourth and twice more in the fifth, to account for Glasgow’s 12-8 lead.

All nine Fayette batters in the starting lineup had at least one hit in the game and the Falcons finished with 23 hits. Davis Valencia had another four-hit game, finishing 4-for-6 with three singles, a double and four RBIs. Goff had two singles, one double and six RBIs and Jason Esau and Ethan Chew each had three singles.

Four other players had mutli-hit games. Collin O’Connell, Mason Stornello, Ball and Spencer Duren finished with two singles apiece. Ball also had three RBIs. Tyler Busker was the ninth starter to get a hit — a single — and Coltin Lewis came off the bench to get a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning.

“The bottom half of our order in these past two games has been fairly salty,” Menees said. “They’ve been coming up with the timely hits, getting on base and moving around. I like the guys I have in those spots.”

For Glsagow (0-1), Adam Monnig was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with four singles and four RBIs. Sanders went 2-for-2 with a single, a home run and two RBIs and Garrett Fuemmeler, hitting in the No. 3 spot, had a single, two doubles and two RBIs.

Christopher Frevert, Mathews and Davis each had one single. Davis also added a pair of RBIs.

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