By John Bombatch
FAIRBORN — The host Fairborn Skyhawks rode timely hitting and a combined one-hit pitching performance all the way to a 4-0 win over Greater Western Ohio Conference South Division rival Xenia, Monday at Wright State University’s Nischwitz Stadium.
Fairborn threw a right-left-right pitching combination at the visiting Buccaneers, and Xenia was unable to come up with hits when they needed them.
Junior righty Jon Fields started the game for the Skyhawks, and limited Xenia to its only hit of the game — an Eli Davis lead-off single in the top of the third inning. Fields went the first five innings, then junior lefty Ryan Profitt kept the Bucs at bay in the fifth. Another righthander, junior Jacob Webb closed out the game in the seventh with a walk and then three straight strikeouts.
“Fields has really come on strong for us,” said Fairborn coach Josh Patrick. “In his last two outings, he pitched complete games for us. He’s got a dangerous curveball that really freezes hitters. That curveball sets up a lot of other things. He may not be overpowering with the fastball, but because he’s so efficient with his curveball, he keeps hitters off balance.”
The Skyhawks scored the game’s first run of the game in the first inning. Senior Brent Grody singled to right to bring home Leighton Mohr with what ultimately turned out to be the winning run.
Fairborn tacked on a trio of insurance runs in the third. Senior Andy Gilbert singled into center to lead off the inning, then Webb advanced him with a surprise bunt for an infield hit. An errant throw from the Xenia catcher to first enabled Mohr to reach base on another bunt, and that toss scored Gilbert and Webb. Profitt then drew a walk, and then senior Matt Peterangelo’s fielders choice scored Mohr.
The Skyhawks were limited by Xenia hurler Alex Bolka’s pitching the rest of the way. They had a hit in each of the final three innings, and Bolka scattered seven hits in all in a complete-game effort.
“Fields did a nice job. We only had one hit against him, but I thought we should’ve been able to get a few more hits off him early,” Xenia coach Barry Claus said. “Our bunt defense let us down in the third. It hasn’t been very good all year. When a team gives you an out with a sacrifice bunt, you’ve gotta take them out. And we struggled with that today.”
Fairborn is now 13-8 overall and 3-5 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s South Division. Xenia falls to 6-13, 2-7 GWOC South. The two teams will face each other again at 5 p.m. on Thursday, but this time it’ll be on the Buccaneers’ home diamond.
Skyhawk seniors Matt Peterangelo, Grody, Gilbert and Jake Neece were recognized before and after the game. Each player did his final lap around the Nischwitz Stadium base paths while fans and their teammates cheered them on.
“Each of those guys have been with the program for all four years, and it’s been fun watching them improve as baseball players and mature as young men,” Patrick said. “They’re gonna be missed. Tonight is just one celebration to hopefully a lot more baseball.”