Fairfield’s baseball team had a long weekend that included a trip south to St. Louis to scrimmage Davis County at Busch Stadium, however, the Trojans had to get home to the middle school fields and host Fort Madison Monday night for a critical conference doubleheader.
“We knew that Fort Madison was going to give us a pretty good game,” explained skipper Josh Allison. “They weren’t going to just roll over and we have to be ready to play every single night. I knew it was going to be a grind coming back from all of the mental challenges from the weekend but we got enough to get it done.”
Fairfield scored one in the home half of the second and added an insurance run in the fifth before holding on for a 2-0 victory.
Seniors Tristin Waugh and Austin Simpson were the lone Trojans to reach base twice with the team as a whole only drawing one walk with that earned by the junior Carter Ferrel who was 0-2 in official at-bats.
“I’ve been seeing the ball well for a couple weeks now,” said Simpson who was just getting his party started. “Getting the pitchers timing down and my timing down. I’m keeping my foot down and trying to get extra reps during batting practice and it’s working so far.”
Kosta Papazoglou collected the win after tossing 112 pitches over 5 2/3 innings with seven walks allowed and 13 strikeouts.
“I do what I can with basically just throwing a fastball,” said K-Pap about his unique one-pitch option that works for him.
“I just try to move it around and get them chasing.”
Classmate Caden Jones threw 1 1/3 stoic innings of relief, allowing zero runs on two hits with one strikeout.
“I was trying to get myself into good counts and only swing at my pitches,” explained Simpson after smashing two long balls and collecting five RBI in the night cap.
“The pitchers at the high school level are going to give in and I just try to sit back and wait for mine. That’s the difference for me between last year and this year. I couldn’t get my timing down, my front hip was leading out and right now it’s just all clicking.”
Was Simpson inspired in game two by his sister’s game one performance?
“In between games, I went to the concession stand and I saw her hit one and I thought, ‘Well, now I have to hit a couple.’ She’s a freshman so I can’t let her show me up like that.”
The rest of the Trojans hit well, too, accumulating 11 runs on 16 hits with four doubles to go with Simpson’s two homers.
Sophomore Drew Martin was 3-3 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored. Papazoglou was 2-4 with a double and two runs scored. Simpson was 3-3 with three runs scored to go with his two dingers and five RBI. Waugh was 2-4 with a double, a run scored and a RBI and Jackson Weaton was 2-4 with a run driven in.
Weaton started the contest on the hill and lasted three innings while allowing just one run on five hits with four walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Elan Ledger tossed the next three innings in relief and also allowed one run off just one hit with two walks and two more strikeouts.
Cooper Drish finished the game and threw 34 pitches in the seventh asnd allowed four runs on two hits with three walks as FHS held on for the 11-6 victory.
When asked the same question as his sister Hannah, Would you rather hit a homer or see your sibling do it? Austin was quick to clear the question up.
“Definitely when I hit one. It’s nice to see her do well, but there is nothing like the adrenaline when you hit a home run and the fans are cheering.”
Tonight versus Centerville at Indian Hills in Ottumwa.