Fayette County News

Fayette County


Fayette takes season-ending series from Sandy Creek

(Photos by Michael Clifton / www.kombatkamera.com)

maclifton041916072hdrmaclifton041916006by Russell Cooks

The season-ending series between the Fayette County Tigers and Sandy Creek Patriots did not disappoint, with two extra innings thrillers in the three-game set to send the squads off into the offseason on a high note.
Game one started the series off in exciting fashion Tuesday as the Tigers won 10-9 in nine innings.
Sandy Creek got on the board first with one run in the top of the third. Fayette responded with five in the bottom half, but the Patriots scored five of their own in the fourth for a 6-1 lead. They plated two more in the sixth and one in the seventh to put the Tigers up against the wall.
Down 9-5, Fayette rallied for four runs to tie up the game. They would push one more across in the bottom of the ninth for the extra inning win.
Game two upped the ante as the Patriots were finally able to beat their arch rivals from Fayette, 12-11, in a 14-inning marathon on their Senior Night, the equivalent of two full high school baseball games.
Senior Rodney Randers was the starting pitcher for the Patriots and he started off with a bang, striking out the two Tigers to end an early threat.
TJ Peavy got the offense going for Sandy Creek as he was hit by a pitch and stole second. Jared Kent then reached on error and Peavy advanced to third. Peavy scored on a sacrifice fly by Vince Bartolomei to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead, and Kent scored on a single by Parker Mallett to give Sandy Creek a 2-0 lead.
Paul Jenkins finally got things going for Fayette with a triple in the third inning. Jenkins scored on a line drive by Hayden Clipp to make the score 2-1.
Cole Jackson walked to lead off the Patriots half of the third inning. Freshman Judah Johnson came in as a courtesy runner for Jackson, then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Drew Darcy connected on a line drive single to score Johnson and give the Patriots a 3-1 lead.
The Tigers got a rally going in the fifth inning, and Jenkins and Clipp scored to tie the score at 3-3.
Jackson ended the tie with a three-run home run to give Sandy Creek a 6-3 lead. Again, the Patriots lead was short lived as the Tigers rallied, led by Darius Hightower and Jacob Sangster, for a three runs to tie the score at 6-6.
The scored remained tied after seven innings, forcing extra innings again. Rodney Randers pitched the first eight innings, tallying 15 strikeouts in his final home game as a Sandy Creek Patriot.
Marquis Grissom,Jr., son of Major League Baseball’s Marquis Grissom, came on in relief of Randers. Grissom inherited two base runners from Randers and the Tigers went on a five-run rampage. The rally was led by Terrell Sims who executed a perfect bunt to give the Tigers a 7-6 lead. Jack Ridgeway and Hightower connected on back-to-back doubles to give Fayette County a 11-6 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Patriots wouldn’t go away. Bartolomei led off with a walk, and Mallett followed with a double, then Darcy was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Neal Baptiste was hit by a pitch to score Bartolomei. Armondo Mendoza hit a two-run double to make it 11-9, and TJ Peavy reached on error to pull within one. Jackson was intentionally walked for the second time to load the bases, then Bartolomei drew a walk to tie the score at 11-11.
Both teams grinded through the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth innings, and there were threats by both teams, but no one could break the tie. Grissom settled down and was able to record two strikeouts. He was replaced by Matt Barrow who tallied two strikeouts, then Christian Proctor came in to shut the Tigers down with four strikeouts over the last two innings. Sandy Creek ended up with a total of 23 strikeouts.
It was Senior Night, but junior Parker Mallett made the major fireworks for the Patriots in the fourteenth inning with a leadoff triple. Baptiste and Mendoza were both hit by pitches to load the bases. Fayette’s catcher attempted a pickoff play at first base, and Parker Mallett raced home to win the game for the Patriots, 12-11. What a game!
Randers said, “It feels great. A hard fought win. I am glad that we came through and won with great pitching.”
Jackson added, “I feel great. I am a little tired. Happy to get a win on Senior Night and our final home game. Rodney had a great game.”
Game three was a bit less dramatic. After splitting the first two in extra innings, the Tigers left nothing to chance on Friday night as they beat the Patriots 6-2 in the season finale.
After pitcher Jack Ridgeway held Sandy Creek scoreless in the top of the first inning, Fayette County rallied for three runs in the bottom of the first. The Tigers wanted to send the Patriots a clear message that they would not be defeated on their Senior Night. Chazz Walker, Miles Berry, Paul Jenkins, and Hayden Clipp provided the offensive firepower and aggressive baserunning for Fayette County.
Sandy Creek answered with two runs in the top of the second, but Ridgeway clamped down and held the Patriots scoreless after the second.
Meanwhile, the Tigers added two more runs in the fourth, and they scored another run in the sixth to round out the scoring at 6-2.
Ridgeway pitched 6 innings and gave up 6 hits and 2 runs. Chazz Walker came in to relieve Ridgeway and closed out the game for Fayette County.
The loss dropped Sandy Creek to 6-19 overall and 2-13 in region play, whereas the win moved Fayette County to 7-18 overall and 4-11 in region play.