Sunday, May 13, 2001

Fairfield 3-peats in sectional baseball

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Winning Division I sectional championships is becoming a habit for coach Ralph Smith and the Fairfield baseball team.

        The Indians won their third consecutive title and fourth in the last five years, defeating Colerain 7-0 at Hamilton in the completion of Friday's rain-suspended game.

        The victory advances Fairfield into the district championship game against Moeller on Friday at Midland Field. Moeller defeated Mason 3-0 Saturday in another continued game.

        Senior right-hander Jason Bowlin led Fairfield. He struck out seven and allowed two hits to pick up the victory. He also picked off two Colerain runners in critical situations.

        “Colerain had two runners on with two outs in the first inning when the game was called on Friday,” Smith said. “It was big when Jason struck out the first batter today to end the inning. It seemed to relax the team.”

        Bowlin said the rain delay was a blessing.

        “I didn't feel completely loose and my arm was stiff (Friday),” Bowlin said. "I took an extra 15 minutes today running sprints and stretching. The arm felt great, and I was ready to pitch.”

        The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on singles by Bobby Kinkade, Bryan Ingram and Kyle Houser, all with two outs.

        “Kyle picked us up with the RBI single” Smith said. “But that's the type of season we've had. When someone's down, there's someone else who picks us up.”

        Colerain's Adam Meier led off the fifth with a single, but Bowlin, who had a full count on Doug Monaghan, picked off Meier at first.

        “I play summer ball with Adam and knew he had good speed,” Bowlin said. “When I got him, he looked over and smiled.”

        Smith said the pickoff was one of the big plays.

        “The pickoff was a killer,” Smith said. “Jason has quick feet and has worked hard on the move. He takes pride in picking runners off.”

        On the next pitch, Monaghan struck out. Mike Ferris, Colerain's leading hitter who will play at the University of Kentucky next season, flew out to left field.

        Bowlin's curveball kept Colerain off stride.

        “I have two curves, one that slowly breaks and the other that breaks sharply,” Bowlin said. “I stuck with the hard-breaking curve today, because Colerain has a lot of batters who like to stay back and hit it.”

        Fairfield put away the game in the fifth inning, scoring three times. Houser had an RBI and Keith Cunagin two RBI, both on singles. Fairfield added three more runs in the sixth, including a two-run homer by Ingram.

        Colerain ends the season at 16-13. Fairfield is 21-4. Colerain ....... 000  000  0—0  2  2

        Fairfield ....... 001  033  x—7  6  0

        WP—Bowlin (7 Ks, 5-2). LP—Moeller. Hitting Leaders: F Ingram 2-2, HR, 2 RBI; Houser 2-3; Cunagin 2-3; Kinkade 2-4, 2 RBI. Records: C 16-13, F 21-4.


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