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Fairmont Senior beats East Fairmont 2-0 to win sectional title

May 15—FAIRMONT — The much anticipated follow-up to East Fairmont's victory over Fairmont Senior on Monday, the two baseball teams were at it once again at Mary Lou Retton Park for the section tournament final on Tuesday night.

Much like the first meeting this season, this game proved to be a pitchers' dual with few hits and even fewer runs. Ultimately, Fairmont Senior got the edge to beat East Fairmont 2-0.

"They came out, and they were focused," Fairmont Senior Head Coach David Ricer said. "Last night they were loose at least outwardly, but they weren't. Tonight they had a chip on their shoulder."

Fairmont Senior's Sammy Viani pitched a complete seven-inning game in the win. He threw 96 pitches, faced 27 batters, allowed four hits, walked one batter, and struck out four. Three of the four hits came in the first two innings, and Viani looked better as the game went on.

"Quick turnaround for him through last Thursday. Threw 105 pitches and then comes back tonight," Ricer said. "We had talked about a couple things about not wasting a lot of pitches down in their order. He was just lights out. He was focused. When you keep Sammy happy, things go well."

When asked about how he got better as the game went on, Viani said he essentially trusted his defense more and more to do its job as the game went on.

"I felt like I just trusted my defense better throughout the game," Viani said. "Once I saw them making a lot of plays, I just felt like it was better for my defense to make plays instead of me trying to strike everyone out."

Tristan Boone started on the mound for East Fairmont and pitched all six innings the defense was on the field. He threw 99 pitches, faced 26 batters, allowed two runs, one earned, six hits, walked two batters, hit one by pitch, and struck out four.

"He kept us in it," East Fairmont Head Coach Joe Price said. "That's a 2-0 ball game. That's a good high school ballgame. We just came up short and ran out of innings right there."

What got Fairmont Senior the lead and the win offensively was a sacrifice RBI from Viani to score Cam Peschl in the bottom of the first. Peschl's run was unearned but still gave the Polar Bears a 1-0 lead.

The second run came in the second off of Peschl's RBI single to bring home Logan Canfield. This time an earned run, Fairmont Senior made it a two-run game with five innings left to play.

East Fairmont couldn't find ways to get on base almost all five of those innings. In need of runs in the top of the seventh, Case Linn and River McClain had back-to-back ground outs to short stop Brayden Gorby. Danny Raddish got a single right after, but Boone grounded to Peschl at second who tagged second base for the final out and seal the victory.

"We just couldn't string hits together," Price said. "That was the key to the game. We had some hits here and there. We needed to string some together, get some guys on, get them over and get them in, and it just didn't happen today."

The road ends here for East Fairmont. Price expressed pride in his team for always being ready to play and for the senior class which he called "high character, high quality young men."

"Couple of [the seniors] didn't see playing time for a while, but they kept working while they waited and just kept going and earned starting positions," Price said. "Couldn't be happier for the character of those young men, and they were great leaders for these younger guys."

Fairmont Senior faces one more opponent standing in its way to the state tournament — Frankfort. Frankfort beat Fairmont Senior 5-4 in their first matchup on April 20. Frankfort also beat top seeded Keyser and will host the first and possible third game of the region series.

"Keyser's got a couple real big names, but Frankfort's a typical Matt Miller team," Ricer said. "They're gritty, and they're well coached, and they'll keep coming at you."

The first game of the regional series is Monday, May 20 at Frankfort. The second game will be Tuesday, May 21 at Mary Lou Retton Park. The third game, if necessary, will be at Frankfort. The winner of the series will make the state tournament, and the loser ends its season.

Reach Colin C. Rhodes at 304-367-2548