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Tigers steal home in win against Lions

Lead Summary
By
Stephen Forsha-sforsha@gmail.com
LEESBURG — Both the McClain Tigers and Fairfield Lions battled through foggy conditions at the start, and at the end rain began to fall Saturday morning at Fairfield High School in a non-league contest.

Before the rain showers let loose, it was aggressive base running by the Tigers, along with timely hitting, that put the Tigers on top for good, defeating their Highland County counterpart, 9-6.

MHS stole nine bases against the Lions and finished with a total of six hits. The Tigers also scored two runs in each of the final three innings.

"Our bats came back to life (Saturday). We made good contact and took advantage of some of their (FHS) mistakes," Brandon Streitenberger said. "We ran the bases very well. We took the extra base when we needed to."

The Tigers trailed headed into the sixth inning trailing the Lions, but two runs later, the Tigers were on top, 7-6.

The first base runner for MHS in the sixth was Ryan Duff, who singled, stole second base on took third on a passed ball.

His aggressive style of base running didn't stop at third as he sprinted his way home, leaving third (with two outs) and reaching home before the pitch reached home plate, avoiding a tag to tie the game at six.

"That was a big play for us," Streitenberger said. "Ryan (Duff) is just a sophomore. He has good speed, and he got a good jump on the pitcher, and that got the momentum going for us. That turned out to be a big play."

MHS continued the inning with a walk by Jacob Dillon and took the lead when Tanner VanZant singled in Dillon after Dillon stole second and third bases.

In the sixth, the Tigers had a total of four stolen bases.

In the seventh, MHS added two more runs to their total.

Zach Uhl, who finished 3-for-4, began the inning with a double. Uhl then stole third base, and Dustin Taylor was safe at first on an infield error, scoring Uhl easily from third base. Ryan Perie singled, moving Taylor to third. Brent Shannon reached first on a fielder's choice, allowing Taylor to score in a infield throwing error.

Kyle Flora of McClain earned the win for the Tigers. Flora pitched five innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and five walks. He struck out four.

Uhl earned the save for MHS, pitching two innings of relief. He allowed no runs and walked none. Uhl, a senior, struck out three.

"We had pretty good pitching from Kyle and (Zach) Uhl," Streitenberger said. "Zach has been lights out as a relief pitcher. He throws the ball hard and throws strikes. He nailed it down for us."

Though the Tigers scored last for the comeback win, they were also first to score, taking a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

In the first, Dillon led off with a walk, then stole second base. After Dillon advanced to third on a fly ball, he scored on a base hit by Uhl.

The Lions responded in the bottom of the second with three runs, taking a two-run lead at 3-1.

Casey Jordan began with a lead-off base hit, taking second on a wild pitch. Jordan stole third and crossed home plate on a Cody Tolle single. Chase Fulkerson doubled, sending Tolle to third, and Tolle and Fulkerson each scored on a infield throwing error, which also allowed Ian Adams to take first base. Also in the inning, Kyle Carson walked and stole second.

In the third, the Tigers tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the third, adding two runs to the scoreboard.

VanZant started the inning by reaching first on an error by the Lions' infield. Uhl followed with a single, but VanZant was forced out at third on a fielder's choice, which allowed Taylor to take first.

Perie was safe at first on a infield error by the Lions, allowing Uhl to score, tying the game at three. Ryan Case hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Taylor, giving the Tigers back the lead.

The longest hit of the day belonged to Tolle, as he hit a a two-run homer over the left field fence, putting FHS up 5-3. Tolle's home run also scored Jordan, who began the inning with a four-pitch walk.

FHS added another run in the fourth with Carson doubling in Adams, who began the inning with a walk.

More runs were scored in the fifth inning for the visiting Tigers. The two runs brought MHS within one run of tying the game.

The fifth began with a walk by VanZant. He then stole second base and scored on a throwing error. On the throwing error, Uhl reached first base. After Uhl stole third, he scored on a ground out by Taylor.

The loss on the mound was charged to Tyler Campbell. Campbell pitched six innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits and five walks. He struck out three.

Jordan pitched one inning of relief for FHS. He faced three batters, striking out all three.

FHS falls to 3-3 overall, In Southern Hills League play, they are 3-1.

"Leesburg always plays us tough," Streitenberger said. "(Tyler) Campbell pitched well for them, and it took us a while to get to him."

The Lions are scheduled to host the Hillsboro Indians on Wednesday, followed by a league game against the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs on Thursday. On Friday, the Lions are scheduled to host Fayetteville.

GAME NOTES: Nathaniel Miller was hit by a pitch and walked … Case was hit by a pitch … Taylor scored two runs and had one RBI without a base hit.[[In-content Ad]]

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