By ROGER THOMAS Courier correspondent
---- — FAIRFIELD —The Chariton Chargers traveled to Fairfield Tuesday for a non-conference doubleheader. After just short of five hours of baseball action, Chariton had a sweep of the Trojans with wins of 4-3 in nine innings and 15-7.
The games were as different as could be. Game one was a thriller that featured both starting pitchers going deep into the game and a late solo home run by Jordan Baughman that made the difference.
Game two saw the teams combine for 22 runs, 27 hits, 11 errors and eight pitchers used.
The visitors scored first in the first game without a base hit in first inning. A Trojan error, the only one for Fairfield in the extra-inning tilt, caused the run to be unearned.
”We have played really strong defense this whole season,” said Fairfield coach Josh Allison.
The Trojans wasted a great scoring chance in the bottom of the opening inning after back-to-back singles by Joe Hietpas and Mason Ellis. These top two hitters in the Fairfield line-up combined for seven of the 10 Trojan hits in game one with Hietpas collecting four and Ellis garnering three.
After the next hitter reached on an error to load the bases with no outs, a fly out to center and a sharp line drive to third turned into a double play to allow Chariton and starting pitcher Brett Braida to escape.
”A hit in that situation changes the momentum entirely,” said Allison. “In a tight game, that might have made a big difference.”
Fairfield starting pitcher, Ryan Gaumer, settled in and over the next four innings only allowed two Charger base-runners. He would pitch eight plus innings in the contest.
”He’s a big strong guy and can handle a higher pitch count,” added Allison. “He’s capable of being pretty good like he was (Tuesday).
Fairfield tied the game in the third. Hietpas’ second hit, a double, led off the inning. He would score later on a sacrifice fly.
Some of the small things in a game caused problems for Chariton in the opener. A base-running miscue, not getting the ball down on the bunt and committing errors kept the visitors from taking control.
”We are still a work in progress as far as tightening up some of these fundamental parts of the game,” said Chariton coach Jake Schroeder.
Hietpas again led off an inning with a hit in the fifth. He would score on a double by Josh Dimmitt for a 2-1Trojan lead.
Chariton took the lead back with two sixth-inning runs. Austin Ritenour and Lucas Heaverlo singled and both would come around to score on a two-out, two-RBI double by Baughman.
Braida would work through another Chariton error in the sixth and he would leave after six with a 3-2 lead.
”I was ready for the start and I thought it was pretty good,” said Braida. “I thought my curve ball was my best pitch.”
”Gritty — he really battled,” added Schroeder.
Fairfield’s defense came up big in the top of the seventh. Josh Dimmitt threw a runner out stealing and a big throw from Spencer Peterman in left — cut down a runner at the plate.
Baughman came in to relieve in the seventh. Hietpas’ double, an Ellis single and Josh Dimmitt’s sacrifice fly tied it at three and sent the game to extra innings.
Gaumer retired the Chargers in order in the eighth but Baughman had to strand two Trojan base-runners to get out of the inning. Baughman delivered the game winner, when he led off the ninth with his home run to left.
”I’ve been on a hot streak lately,” said Baughman. “I think I focus more at the plate when I’m in the closer situation.”
Baughman surrendered Ellis’ third hit in the ninth but picked up the win for himself and his team as the last two Trojan hitters grounded out.
”We have not been in very many close games,” said Schroeder. “A win like this over a quality team like Fairfield should help us at tournament time.”
”It was a good game,” added Allison. “Definitely a fun one to be a part of.”
Fairfield scored a single run in the first inning of game two. The visitors took the lead with two runs in the second. Charger starting pitcher, Alex Wright had the first of his four hits of game two and a single by Ben Kinser and a balk scored the runs.
After Fairfield failed to score in the home second, the visitors sent 12 hitters to the plate and scored eight runs. Token Hall, Austin Peterson, T.J. Hockenson, Braida, and Baughman all had RBI hits in the inning. Baughman drove in two with his second double.
The Trojans failed to score again in the third and headed to the fourth staring a run rule game straight in the face. The third was Wright’s last. Wright, who had caught the opener, talked about his three innings of work.
”I felt fine, but we have a big conference doubleheader, so we were saving innings,” Wright said.
Hockenson’s RBI single scored Wright and Chariton went up 11-1 entering the Trojan fourth. The Chargers hurt their chances to end the game early by making two errors that were sandwiched around a Tyler Cooksey hit. With two outs, Ellis delivered a three run double and the Trojans were within 11-5.
Jordan Whitney, the third Fairfield pitcher, blanked the visitors in the top of the fifth. The Trojans continued to eat away at the Chariton lead by adding two runs in their at bat in the fifth. Peterman drove in the first and Hietpas’ two out double scored the second.
Chariton answered with three hits for two runs in the sixth. Wright started the inning with his fourth hit, a double. Braida and Ritenour had the RBI. Chariton relief pitcher, Austin Peterson, blanked the Trojans over the final two innings.
The Chargers tacked on their final two runs in the seventh. Hockenson added his fourth hit for an RBI.
”Sometimes I’m a little more comfortable at the plate depending on where I’m playing in the field,” said Hockenson. “I’m kind of superstitious and my teammates gave me something to help me. I guess it worked (Tuesday).”
”We are a really good hitting team [19 game two hits]” said Schroeder. “That saved us tonight because there were parts of how we closed out this game that were terrible.”
Allison commented on his team’s comeback.
”We didn’t quit and really worked to get back in this game.”
Chariton is 16-2 and Fairfield is 8-5 after the doubleheader.
Chariton 4, Fairfield 3 (9)
CH 100 002 001 — 4 8 4
FF 001 010 100 — 3 10 1
Chariton battery — Braida (6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0K, 1BB) and Baughman (WP) (3IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 3K, 1BB), Wright catching.
2B — Peterson, Baughman.
3B — none.
HR — Baughman.
Hits —Lucas Heaverlo 1-for-4, Peterson 1-for-4, Baughman 2-for-4, Kinser 1-for-3, Ritenour 3-for-3.
RBI — Peterson, Baughman 3. Runs — Heaverlo 2, Baughman, Ritenour.
Fairfield battery — Gaumer (LP) (8IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 2K, 1BB), Peterman (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0K, 0BB), J. Dimmitt catching.
2B — Hietpas 2, J. Dimmitt.
3B — none.
HR — none.
Hits — Hietpas 4-for-5, Ellis 3-for-4, J. Dimmitt 1-for-3, Kooper Dahlstrom 1-for-4, Peterman 1-for-3.
RBI — J. Dimmitt 3. Runs — Hietpas 3.
Chariton 15, Fairfield 7
CH 028 102 2 — 15 19 7
FF 100 420 0 — 7 8 4
Chariton battery — Wright (WP) (3IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1K, 1BB), Kinser (H) (1 2/3IP, 4H, 6R, 0ER, 0K, 2BB) and Peterson (H) (2 1/3IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 0BB), Ritenour and Wright catching.
2B — Baughman 2, Wright.
3B — none.
HR — none.
Hits —Heaverlo 1-for-5, Hall 2-for-3, Peterson 1-for-5, Baughman 2-for-4, Wright 4-for-5, Hockenson 4-for-5, Braida 3-for-4, Kinser 1-for-4, Ritenour 1-for-5.
RBI — Hall, Peterson, Baughman 2, Hockenson 3, Braida 3, Kinser, Ritenour. Runs — Heaverlo, Hall, Peterson, Baughman 2, Wright 4, Hockenson 4, Braida, Kinser.
Fairfield battery — Darren Dimmitt (LP) (2IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER, 0K, 2BB), Chet Vogt (0IP, 3H, 4R, 2ER, 0K, 0BB), Whitney (3 2/3IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 0K, 0BB), Wyatt Stark (1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 1K, 1BB) and Cooksey 1/3IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0K, 0BB), Justin Leonard catching.
2B — Hietpas, Ellis 2.
3B — none.
HR — none.
Hits —Hietpas 1-for-4, Ellis 2-for-4, J. Dimmitt 2-for-4, Austin Gridley 1-for-4, Dahlstrom 1-for-4, Cooksey 1-for-3.
RBI — Hietpas 2, Ellis 3, Gridley, Peterman. Runs — Hietpas, Ellis, Dahlstrom 2, Cooksey 2, Stark.