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Lions roar past Dragons for SHL victory

Lead Summary
LEESBURG — Behind a 14-strikeout day from pitcher Casey Jordan, the Fairfield Lions stayed within striking distance, then delivered the knockout blow with late-inning runs for a 7-2 Southern Hills League win over the West Union Dragons, Wednesday at Fairfield High School.

Fairfield was able to get the field in playing shape after nearly three inches of rain the past two days, since with the sunshine out on Wednesday, there was baseball to be played. The game against West Union was a makeup game from the previous day.

The win lifts FHS to 4-1 in the SHL and 4-3 overall.

After a shaky first inning, Jordan was close to un-hittable for the final six innings. He allowed three hits and two runs in the first, but after that, he allowed no runs and just two more hits in the game.

Jordan threw 95 pitches in the game, 70 for strikes. Of his 14 strikeouts, nine were swinging and five were called third strikes. Both runs allowed were earned runs, and he walked two.

"Casey pitched phenomenal," FHS head coach Jeff Miller said. "He was off the charts after the first inning.

"I made a comment that if he could hit the spots I wanted him to hit, he'd be dangerous … he hit those spots after the first inning."

The Lions started the fourth inning with Dakota Hargrave singling with two outs to keep the inning alive. Hargarve stole second and took third on a infield error by the Dragons. On that same error, Cody Tolle reached first safely.  

Jordan helped his own cause, singling in Hargrave, cutting the Dragons' early lead to one run. Jordan Boles came up to the plate and singled in both Tolle and Jordan, giving the Lions a 3-2 advantage.

The Lions didn't lose the lead for the remainder of the game. In fact, they added four runs in the sixth inning to put the game away.

"The main thing is we need a quality pitch selection," Miller said. "We have to wait and be patient at the plate. We have good hitters and experienced hitters, but we have to have good hitter strikes.

"We need the hitter's strike instead of the pitcher's strike. Sometimes we're just too anxious, but we keep working on it."

The Lions finished with seven hits, three coming in the fourth inning.

In the sixth, Hargrave drew a seven-pitch walk to lead off the inning. Hargrave stole second and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tolle.

Hargrave scored on a fielder's choice by Jordan, but Jordan advanced to second on a wild throw to home, which allowed Hargrave to score the aforementioned run.  

Boles continued the inning on four straight balls for a free pass to first base.

With two outs, Ian Adams powered the ball over the left-center field fence for a three-run home run, putting the Lions ahead 7-2.

"The formula to winning is getting good pitching and defense, and today we got both," Miller said.  

The first two runs in the game were scored by the Dragons in the top of the first inning.

For the Dragons, McCoy walked to start the game. Myers singled, and McCoy scored on a base hit by Brett Grooms. WIth two outs, Brad Grooms singled in Brett Grooms for the Dragons' two runs.

Five Dragons had one hit, including Brett Grooms, Brad Grooms, McCoy, Myers and Kramer.

The loss went to Brad Grooms, who pitched a complete game. In six innings, he allowed four earned runs on seven hits and four walks. He struck out four.

The Lions are scheduled to host the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs Thursday. They host Fayetteville Friday. Both are SHL games and will start at 5 p.m.

The much-improved Lions defense had just one error … WU had two errors … Jordan retired the first three batters of the inning on three occasions … No batter in the game had more than one hit.[[In-content Ad]]

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