Fairmont completes sweep of Jackson with 7-3 win in Game 2
JACKSON -- The Fairmont Martins swept their best-of-three series over the Jackson Bulls with a 7-3 win in Game 2 of the Region 13C amateur playoffs Friday night in Jackson.
With the win, the Fairmont Martins get the top seed out of the region, as well as a bye, moving on into the state tournament while the Bulls take the two seed.
Fairmont started off the top of the first with a leadoff triple by Jon Ellis followed by an RBI single by Aaron Siefken. In the next at bat, Siefken stole second before pitcher Shaun McGuire grounded out for the first out of the inning while advancing the runner to third.
An error by the Bulls allowed another run to score for the Martins, making the score 2-0 with one out. Jackson pitcher Tom Hady picked up the second out of the inning on a fly ball to the outfield by Adam Schmidt. Hady walked the next batter, but would get Jordan Petchke to flyout to end the inning.
"Fairmont is a stacked team," Jackson catcher Blaise Jacobsen said. "It was good practice for state, because most of the teams we see there will be like them. They are a good pitching team. We hit the teams we are supposed to hit really well, but against teams like this, they will be close games."
The Bulls picked up a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, but Fairmont turned a double play in the next at bat to grab two quick outs. McGuire picked up a strikeout to end the inning.
In the top of the second, the Martins grounded out to start the inning, but Hady walked the next batter to put one runner on first. A double by Ellis put runners at second and third, but Hady was able to work his way out of the jam with a strikeout and a flyout in the next two at bats.
McGuire cruised through the bottom of the second, picking up two strikeouts and a flyout while only giving up one walk.
After the Martin's leadoff batter grounded out, Fairmont picked up a single only to have Dustin Sobolik hit into a potential double play. Sobolik was safe at first, but the Bulls picked up an out at second on the play. Hady then got Petschke to fly out to end the inning.
McGuire sailed through the bottom of the third much like he did in the second, picking up two more strikeouts and a flyout.
"We have to put the ball in play more," Jacobsen said. "We are not afraid to hack. We get on base a lot because of that."
Hady picked up his first 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth on two fly outs and a groundout.
The Bulls bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth, with Mike Wierson picking up a single to the outfield. Pat Rients followed Wierson's single with a two-run hom run over the fence to tie the game at two.
The Martin's got their first out of the inning on a flyout by Marcus Schultz. An error by Fairmont put a runner on first with just one out, but McGuire got the next two batters out to end the inning.
Fairmont's offense went to work again in the top of the fifth. Hady walked the first batter he saw then allowed the runner to steal second before he gave up a single to McGuire to put two men on.
Hady's quick reflexes came into play when he caught a liner in the next at bat, but Hady made an error on a poor throw to first in an attempt to get a double play, which allowed a run to score. Hady paid for his error when Schmidt smashed a two-run homer over the fence to put Fairmont back up by three.
After picking up the second out of the inning, Hady walked a Martin batter and then gave up a double to Ian Bents to put runners on second and third. Hady walked another batter in the next at bat to load the bases, but he got Ellis to fly out to end the inning.
McGuire had another quick inning in the bottom of the fifth, getting two strikeouts before surrendering a double to Andy Wolf. McGuire then caught a line drive by Wierson to bring the inning to a close.
Hady picked up another 1-2-3 inning in the sixth; getting all three batters he faced to ground out.
McGuire also got a 1-2-3 inning, getting a flyout, strikeout and ground out to get out of the sixth unscathed.
The seventh followed a similar pattern to the sixth for Hady. The only difference being that all three outs came on fly balls to the outfield.
McGuire would give up two walks in the seventh, but two strikeouts and a ground out ended the Bulls threat with two runners on.
Jackson made a pitching change in the top of the eighth, giving the ball to Fox Lake draftee Brennan Holm. Holm picked up a strikeout and a ground out before allowing a double to Ellis. In the next at bat, Siefken knocked in Ellis from second on a single to the outfield. Holm got out of the inning on a lineout to the infield.
"One thing we need to improve on is depth in our pitching staff," Jacobsen said. "And we will get that here when we get to pick two draftees for the next round. It will help to not stretch out our pitching staff so much. It bit us in the butt in the last game."
McGuire returned for the eighth, giving up a leadoff single to Wierson, but his defense completed a double play to pick up two outs. Another lineout to the pitcher ended the inning without any danger for Fairmont.
Max Waletich flied out to start off the top of the ninth for the Martins, but Holm gave up a walk in the next at bat to give Fairmont a base runner. Sobolik then hit a single, but the Bulls were able to get an out at second on the play.
Holm gave up another walk to the next Martin batter and then allowed an RBI single by Bents to put Fairmont up 7-2. Holm ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Bulls wouldn't go out without a fight, picking up back-to-back singles to start off the bottom of the ninth. The next batter was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Jackson, but McGuire struck out the next batter to get the first out of the inning.
Josh Wacker then hit a sacrifice fly to bring the Bulls within four runs, but McGuire got Wolf to flyout to give the Martins the win.
"We have to be able to make plays in tough games," Jacobsen said. "As far as changing things, it is too late to change anything. But I like our team and I feel like we have a chance every game. We never give up, we are always there.
In other Region 13C playoff action, the Wilmont Cardinals beat the Pipestone A's 9-2 Friday in Pipestone to keep the best-of-three series alive. The two teams will meet in Wilmont Sunday at 2 p.m. for the chance to go to state on the line.
R H E
Fairmont 200 030 011 -- 7 10 2
Jackson 000 200 001 -- 3 7 1
Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi
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