Fairfield Central scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning to rally from a 4-3 deficit and hold on for a 6-5 win over North Central in a Region 3-AA baseball game played Thursday night in Boonetown.
The loss evened the Knights’ conference record to 2-2 in a game which was moved up one night due to the threat of rain on Friday.
The hosts jumped to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Cam Holley singled and moved to second on Tyler Bowers’ ground out. Broderick Gaither then had a two-out single to drive in Holley with the game’s first run. Gaither made it 2-0 when he scored on an error on a ball hit by Alex Tarlton.
The Griffins knotted things with a pair in the second which included a steal of home plate for the second run.
NC answered a Fairfield Central run in the third with one of its own in the bottom half of the inning as Bowers reached on an error and came across on a Tarlton single. An inning later, the Knights took the lead at 4-3 with Holley reaching on a walk, stealing second and scoring on an error on a ball hit by Bowers.
The Griffins took the lead for keeps with a three-spot in the fifth with Jarvis Kennedy driving home two runs with a single.
The Knights scored the game’s final run in the home half of the sixth as Bowers unloaded on a solo home run to right center. NC had a man on second with one gone in the seventh, but a pair of strikeouts by FC pitcher Stanley McManus closed the game and ended the rally.
Both teams collected five hits with five different Knights getting one each. The Griffins aided the hosts by committing five errors in the field.
Bowers went 2.1 innings, gave up one hit and struck out six batters before being relieved by Paul Blackwell, who finished the game and fanned four batters.
NC head coach Robbie Cash said the tough loss is one his team can learn from.
“Playing in a game like this,” he said, “should help us down the road. We needed to take what we learned from our mistakes against Fairfield Central and get better in all phases of the game. Our guys are not satisfied and I know they are going to keep working hard in practice until we get it right.”