Baseball Bears Clinch Share Of District Title With Victory Over Dutchtown
The Bears clinched at least a share of the district title on Saturday with a 3-2 win on the road at Dutchtown. The Bears scored two in the first and tacked on the go-ahead run in the third to seal the win over the Griffins.
The Bears (24-5) got going early in the top of the first with walks by Cole Johnson and Brandon Fairbanks. Josh Smith then bunted for a single to load the bases and Tristan Welch had an RBI groundout to score Johnson and put the Bears up 1-0. Later in the inning, Daniel Guilbeau launched a sacrifice fly to score Fairbanks for a 2-0 lead. Dutchtown (18-11) answered with one run in the bottom of the first starting with a leadoff single. The run came around to score courtesy of two Bear errors, and the Bears led 2-1 after one inning of play.
The Bears picked up the difference making third run of the game in the third inning, when Johnson singled, stole second and was sacrificed to third by Brandon Fairbanks. Smith walked and Tristan Welch brought in Johnson with his second RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly.
The Griffins narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the fifth on a leadoff single, a hit by pitch, a wild pitch and an infield single. CHS starter Brian Fairbanks ended the Dutchtown threat with a strikeout.
The Griffins would threaten in the sixth on a leadoff walk, before the Bears’ Nathan Bell entered the game and quieted the rally with two groundouts after a sacrifice bunt put the DHS runner in scoring position.
After a three up, three down inning in the top of the seventh for the Bears, Bell struck out the nine hole hitter, then induced two groundouts to pick up the save. Bell retired all six batters he faced.
Fairbanks threw ninety-three pitches on the afternoon with fifty-five registering for strikes. He scattered three hits, yielded one earned run and struck out six Griffin batters. Of the 23 hitters he faced, the LSU-Eunice signee threw sixteen first pitch strikes. Fairbanks is now 6-2 on the season.
Coach Brad Bass shared his thoughts on the victory, “Another one run win over a quality opponent in Dutchtown. Our guys played solid defense, Fairbanks and Bell were very good on the mound, and getting a 2-0 lead early was key. I like where our team is with the playoffs just around the corner.”
The Bears have two 5-5A games slated against McKinley in the coming week before post-season play begins the following Monday or Tuesday. The Bears currently sit at #3 in the 5A power ratings, but will likely drop a spot to #4 due to the lack of wins that McKinley adds to CHS’ power rating.
Official playoff brackets will be released by the LHSAA on Sunday, April 24, at noon.