Nazareth vs Fayetteville
Could game 2 of the 1A State Semi Finals be as exciting as Game 1? In 7 innings we would find out. Aiden Moore would take the bump for Nazareth with Luke Schulte behind the plate. Moore would get the leadoff batter to fly out to CF but walk Reid Gross. Gross would advance to second on a strikeout/wild pitch. Logan Fritsch would then triple to left to score him. A towering fly ball to center would be caught by Derek Dyer to end the top of the first.
The Fayetteville battery would consist of Reid Gross on the mound with Logan Fritsch behind the plate. Gross would also get the leadoff batter to fly out to center. The 2-hole hitter, Kaiden Cleavinger would flyout to right field. Carson Heiman would tattoo one to right for a triple. He is left stranded after a failed bunt attempt with a Gross to Parker Vitek putout. Fayetteville would get a runner over to second in the top of the second but couldn’t push them across. In the bottom of the second, Aiden Moore would reach first on a error by Reid Gross. But a running catch by center fielder Landon Urban would leave him there. At the end of 2, it was still 1-0 Fayetteville.
In the top of the 3rd, the Lions bats got hot. They would add to the lead after Keagan Supak reached first on an error. Reid Gross would triple to score him. 1 out and 2 batters later, Logan Fritsch smoked a ball over center for his second triple of the day and an RBI. Another out and another single later, Fritsch would touch home. The top half would end with the Lions up 4-0. Nazareth would go down quietly with a single then a caught stealing, a line out to the shortstop and a flyout to center. At the end of 3 it was 4-0 Fayetteville.
The top of 4th starts off with 2 quick outs by Aiden Moore but the Swifts change pitchers as Trent Gerber takes the mound. Gerber would walk the first batter he faced, Keagan Supak but then strike out Reid Gross to end the top of the 4th. The bottom was similar as Gross would get a lineout to left fielder Jake Kubala, then a pitcher to first groundout. Nazareth’s Aiden Moore would reach on an error, but the inning would end with a lazy ground out to Vitek at first.
Trent Gerber made quick work in the top of the 5th with a ground out to third baseman Aiden Moore, a strikeout and a ground out to shortstop, Luke Betzen. The bottom of the 5th was uneventful for Nazareth as despite Tanner Birkenfeld getting hit by a pitch and stealing second, the Swifts could not get him home. In the top of the 6th, Fayetteville would also get a runner over to second but couldn’t score with the top of the 6th ending with a nice play by shortstop Luke Betzen to first baseman Kaden Cleavinger to leave the runner stranded. Gross would get Cleavinger to throw his hands at a pitch and ground out to second baseman Keagan Supak for the first out in the bottom half. Carson Heiman would hit the next one right at Supak’s feet. Supak bobbled it but kept his cool for the second out. Gross would end the inning with a strikeout.
The 7th was almost as quite as the 6th as Fayetteville would get runners to first and second but Trent Gerber kept them therer with 3 strikeouts. In the bottom half, Reid Gross would give up a single but 3 towering popups to short, catcher and center would end the game. Fayetteville advances to play Kennard for the State Championship. Oh, and to answer my earlier question, yes, it was just as exciting.
WP – Reid Gross
LP – Aiden Moore
Player of the Game: Reid Gross
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