Alex Adorno is greeted at home plate after crushing a grand slam to lead his Tigers to victory over Sandy Creek.
One big blast blew the door open in a 15-6 Fayette County win over Sandy Creek on Friday.
A tight game that saw the Tigers trailing heading into the bottom of the fourth was turned on its head when catcher Alex Adorno crushed a grand slam over the wall in left field. The Tigers would not give back the lead after the blast.
"It felt pretty good. It's my first (grand slam) ever," said Adorno. "We're teammates, brothers is what I would call it. We all look up to each other. We pick each other up. I just tried to pick up my teammates."
The glow of victory was all around the dugout at Fayette.
"Alex cleaned house. That picked the team up and away we go," said Fayette coach Frank Dixon. "That's one of the things we've talked about. You're not always going to be the one to get it done, but you have to be able to depend upon your teammates. Alex picked them up."
The win also gives Fayette some much needed momentum as region play heats up. Already off to one of their best starts, the Tigers are looking sharp.
"It's been a long time since we've had a win in the first region game of the season," Dixon said. "We've been working real hard to play as a team. We're hoping that we're coming around to do just that."
The Tigers are a team on the rise. They're playing good baseball and enjoying it. Asked if his team has fun playing together, Dixon jokes, "They do. Sometimes a little too much.
"They've grown up together. They've played together for years. They're out there to win and I hope they keep that attitude."
Aside from Adorno's slam, the Tigers got key performances from Austyn "Bobo" Spruill and Damon Haskett. Spruill came on in relief and pitched a steady 4 1/3 innings. Haskett, filling in at short for the injured Wahid Ali, was kept busy all night, but made key out after key out.
In the early going, the Patriots and Tigers looked like they were destined for a pitcher's duel between SC's Anthony Dodd and FC's Brantley Dorrity.
Creek's Jared Jackson led the game off with a solo shot, before the Dorrity settled in. The Tigers answered back to tie the game in the bottom half of the first with a Jordan Coleman sacrifice fly to score Kameron Barlow.
The Patriots grabbed the lead back in the third inning when a Cole Jackson two out triple set the table. Dodd drove him in with an RBI single for a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers knotted it up in the bottom half with a Chris Jones RBI double and pulled ahead on a RBI infield single by Greg Bundridge.
Sandy Creek got a rally going in the top of the fourth. Thomas Farr started it off with a lead off double. Jared Jackson drove him in with a double and later scored on a Trevin Bolden sacrifice. Another sacrifice, this time by Cole Jackson, would put Sandy Creek ahead 5-3.
The fourth was when the Tigers made their mark. Damon Haskett led off with a key triple. Spruill drove him in with a single to trim the deficit to one run. A Micah Sanders single, an infield hit by Barlow, and a bloop single by Coleman would tie the game at 5-5 and still leave the bases juiced. That's when Adorno dropped the bomb to make it a 9-5 Tiger lead.
Sandy Creek would try to pull back into the game, but could only manage one more run when Dodd reached base on an error to score Bolden.
Fayette padded their lead with a big sixth inning. Chris Jones drove in the next run then would later score when a bad pickoff throw to first allowed him to race home from third. Spruill would be plunked by a pitch with the bases loaded to score courtesy runner Josiah Goode. Micah Sanders put the game well out of reach when he scorched a three RBI double.
Fayette's defense did the job in the seventh to slam the door. After a lead off walk, Haskett made a big catch and combined with a great pick at first by Sanders for the double play to kill the rally.