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Hornets knock off Fairland, 7-3

PROCTORVILLE — Bottoms up.

The bottom of Coal Grove’s lineup rose to the top as the Hornets beat the Fairland Dragons 7-3 Monday in a key Ohio Valley Conference game.

“Even though we struck out a bunch, we made the hits count. Six of our runs came from the bottom four guys in our lineup. Those guys are getting on so the top can put the ball in play and that helps out a lot,” said Hornets coach John Jones.

Fairland pitchers Nate Burcham and Robbie Easterling combined for 17 strikeouts, but Coal Grove took advantage of three errors and eight walks.

“We didn’t hit the ball, we didn’t field the ball and we didn’t pitch. When you have twice as many walks and errors as hits, you’re not going to win,” said Fairland coach Roger Snyder.

Coal Grove is now 4-1 and 3-0. Fairland falls to 4-1 and 2-1.

“That’s a big win, but we still have two big ones lest this week. We still have South Point and Rock Hill,” said Jones.

Coal Grove pitcher Wayne Sparks got the win with a complete game five-hitter. He struck out eight and walked two.

“(Sparks) had one stretch when he gave up four straight hits, but he settled down and finished pretty strong,” said Jones.

The Hornets went up 1-0 in the third inning when Zack Murphy reached on an error, Jake Murphy walked, and Alex Johnson had an RBI single.

Coal Grove scored four runs in the fourth inning.

Shannon Goodwin was safe on an error, Sparks walked, and Roger Ramey had a run-scoring single. Oakie Haynes had a two-run double and Johnson had his second RBI single.

The lead grew to 7-0 in the top of the fifth.

Sparks singled, Ramey walked, Haynes put down a sacrifice bunt and Zack Murphy delivered a two-run single.

Fairland got all three of its runs in the bottom of the inning.

Chad Fisher hit a solo home run. Zac Jordan then singled, Zach Matasich beat out an infield hit and Easterling had a two-run double.

Coal Grove0014200=761

Fairland0000300=353

Wayne Sparks and Taylor Dean. Nate Burcham, Robbie Easterling (4) and Tyler Godby. W-Sparks (8-K, 2-BB, 3-ER). L-Burcham (10-K, 5-BB). 2B-CG: Wayne Sparks, Oakie Haynes; Fairland: Easterling. HR_Fairland: Chad Fisher. Hitting-Coal Grove: Zack Murphy 1-4, Alex Johnson 2-4, Wayne Sparks 1-3, Roger Ramey 1-3, Oakie Haynes 1-2; Fairland: Zac Jordan 2-4, Zach Matasich 1-4, Robbie Easterling 1-2, Chad Fisher 1-2.