Martins garner Game 1 against Irish, 8-2
FAIRMONT — A pair of veteran Fairmont batters combined for five hits and five RBIs, while two usual starting Martins pitchers combined to hold the Milroy Irish bats in check on Wednesday night.
Jon Traetow went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Adam Schmidt drove in a game-best three runs with two hits, starter Josh Smith struck out eight in five frames, while Matt Lytle closed out the final four innings to spearhead the No. 1-seeded Martins’ 8-2 Game 1 victory over the No. 4-seeded Irish at Herb Wolf Field.
Fairmont (19-2) travels to Irish Yard in Milroy on Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. start against Milroy (17-4) in Game 2 during the best-of-3 Region 13C Final Four postseason series.
“We put together a nice two-out rally in the (bottom of the) first with four consecutive hits to stake Smith to an early two-run lead,” said Martins player/coach Spencer Chirpich, who’s currently on the injured reserve list. “After that, he (Smith) gave us five solid innings before Matt (Lytle) came on in relief and shut’em down.”
Ironically, the hard-throwing Smith allowed his only two hits in back-to-back fashion in the top of the first. Dominic Dolan and Tyler Peterson connected for singles before Smith coaxed a groundout, notched a strikeout and got a flyout to hang a zero on the scoreboard.
Derek Shoen, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, triggered the Martins’ initial at-bat by legging out a two-out grounder up the middle. Traetow and Tyler Tennyson followed with back-to-back hits to load the bases for Schmidt. Schmidt lined a two-run single through the hole at short for a quick 2-0 edge.
Smith then settled into a pitching rhythm, retiring the next 10 batters in a row before issuing his only walk of the contest to Anthony Dolan with two out in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Blake Crawmer doubled and circled the bases on Jack Waletich’s RBI single to account for Fairmont’s solo run in the last of the second.
Traetow then set the offensive table for the Martins during the third. Traetow singled, Tennyson was hit by a pitch and Schmidt reached on a fielder’s choice. After advancing 90 feet each on a wild pitch, Tennyson and Schmidt scored on Dalen Keltgen’s two-run single with two out for a 5-0 lead.
Traetow then delivered the first critical swing of Fairmont’s three-run fourth. Waletich singled before Levi Becker and Shoen each walked to jam the base paths.
Traetow drilled a two-run single to center, Tennyson walked and Schmidt delivered his third RBI of the night with a single to left for an 8-0 lead.
Isaac Dolan took over the mound for Milroy starter Beau Priegnitz in the fourth to douse Fairmont’s offensive flame via four innings of shutout relief. Dolan allowed two hits, struck out four and walked four for no decision.
Ben Heichel, who doubled with two out in the Irish’s sixth at-bat, connected for his second two-base hit on the heels of Brady Lanoue’s RBI single in the eighth.
Lytle allowed one earned run while scattering four hits over four innings pitched. He struck out one batter and did not issue a walk in four innings of relief.
Waletich and Shoen each contributed two hits for Fairmont, while Dominic Dolan went 2-for-4, as did teammate Ben Heichel.
MIL 000 010 010 — 2 6 1
FMT 212 300 00x — 8 12 2
Beau Priegnitz (LP), Isaac Dolan (4), Ben Heichel (8) and Brady Lanoue. Josh Smith (WP), Matt Lytle (6) and Blake Crawmer.
LOB–Fairmont 11, Milroy 6. 2B–Heichel (Milroy) 2, Crawmer (Fairmont).