Ours' grand slam propels Fairmont Senior to 12-6 comeback win over Buckhannon-Upshur

Mar. 29—FAIRMONT — While Major League Baseball celebrated its opening day, Fairmont Senior and Buckhannon-Upshur resumed a season already in progress Thursday evening at Mary Lou Retton Park.

Buckhannon-Upshur held a 4-0 lead over Fairmont Senior in the second, but a grand slam from Dylan Ours tied the game and a big third inning from the Polar Bears propelled Fairmont Senior to a 12-6 victory over the Buccaneers.

"We played great today," Ours said. "Coming out with a 4-0 deficit in the second inning, we still battled back greatly. We had some great pitching today. Great bats, too. All around, we played a great game today."

Logan Canfield, in his first start this season, received the win as Fairmont Senior's pitcher. Having a rocky start on the mound but later gaining his composure, Canfield pitched four innings, allowed five runs, four earned, eight hits, walked four and struck out three.

"I struggled at first trying to find the strike zone, then we got down early 4-0," Canfield said. "Then Dylan Ours with that grand slam kind of helped us, got our morale back, and I think the game was over from there."

Hayden Jones relieved Canfield and closed out the game. Jones pitched three innings, allowed two hits, one run, walked one and struck out three.

For Buckhannon-Upshur, Drahden Rice started on the mound and received the loss. He pitched 2.2 innings, allowed seven hits, 10 runs, four earned, walked two and struck out one. Wyatt Mason relieved him and pitched 3.3 innings, allowed four hits, two runs, walked two and struck out one.

Buckhannon-Upshur started the game with a bang. Jaden Westfall hit a solo homerun off Canfield over left field to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. It quickly looked like the Bucs would run away with the game.

In the top of the second, Brody McDaniels singled to left center, sending Rice home. Gage Parsons got an RBI single as well, sending the ball past Brody Whitehair at shortstop to get home Laiken Kesling and Ethan Garvin to make it 4-0 for Buckhannon-Upshur.

Unbeknownst to everyone, Fairmont Senior would begin its rally in the bottom of the second. Bases loaded, Ours hit his grand slam over the left field fence and tied the game 4-4. According to Head Coach David Ricer, it's the first Fairmont Senior grand slam since 2018.

"Very first pitch on that first count, I got a fastball coming in a little bit high and inside, pulled it all the way to left field," Ours said. "Made some good contact with it. Kind of knew initially with the ball coming off the bat it was hit very well."

Garvin broke the tie for Buckhannon-Upshur, sending Rice home on an RBI single over Whitehair. The 5-4 lead lasted briefly.

With two outs in the bottom of the third, Fairmont Senior yanked the lead away from Buckhannon-Upshur. Ethan Miller singled past the third baseman to get Jones home to tie the game again, and then Brayden Gorby and Ours got back-to-back errors by outfielders to score Blake Straight, Miller and Gorby, making it 8-5.

The Polar Bears weren't even done that inning. Cam Peschl hit a grounder down the third base line and past the third baseman to get Ours home for yet another run, and Sammy Viani got Peschl home by lining his hit over the second baseman.

Fairmont Senior now up 10-5, the score remained that way until the fifth inning when Viani's sacrifice RBI got Peschl home to make it 11-5. The final Fairmont Senior run came off Gorby's sacrifice RBI to get Jones the run in the sixth.

Down 12-5 in the top of the seventh, all of Buckhannon-Upshur's hopes lay in the slim chances of a comeback. Tucker Burr got Rice home once again to make it 12-6, but Jones struck out the final batter to seal the comeback victory.

"That was a tale of two games right there," Ricer said. "They had the momentum early, and we just strung a couple of things together, loaded them up, and Dylan put it out there. That definitely changed the whole way things were rolling at that time."

Sitting comfortably at 4-1, Fairmont Senior heads to Weirton on Saturday for a double-header with section opponents Weir and Oak Glen. The game against Weir begins at 11:30 a.m., and the Oak Glen match starts at 1 p.m.

Reach Colin C. Rhodes at 304-367-2548