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Fairfield boys upend Westview in NECC baseball tourney

Fairfield upended Westview, 6-4 in the finals of the 2014 NECC baseball tournament Saturday afternoon in Angola.

The Warriors scored runs in each of their first two at bats to take a 2-0 advantage. Jake Berkey, who singled to lead off the game, scampered home when a throw by Falcon catcher Tony Zook skipped into center field. Zook was attempting to nail Judah Zickafoose on the back end of a double-steal.

Jamin Lambright’s two-out double down the right-field line in the top of the second brought home John Yoder with the second Westview run. Yoder had walked to start the frame.

Fairfield erased its deficit with a three-run burst in the bottom of the second. Andrew Bobeck plated one of the Falcon markers with a sacrifice fly, while Brock Goeglein knocked in Lucas Miller and Ben Hunley with a double.

The Falcons tacked on another run in the third when a one-out grounder to second off the bat of Miller drove in Austin Christner. Christner reached base on a walk, went to second on an error and made it to third on a bunt by Kyle Mast.

A walk to Zook and a single by Mast at the start of the fifth inning led to the final two Fairfield runs. Zook would score on another Westview bobble and Mast raced home on a passed ball.

Westview tallied once in the sixth on a double by Kohle Christner followed by a Fairfield miscue. Lambright led off the seventh by drawing a walk. He eventually came in to score on a wild pitch, but Fairfield ace Christner got out of the inning with no further damage to secure a complete-game win and the title for the Falcons.

Christner wound up with eight strikeouts. Westview starter Tarrin Beachy went 4.1 innings with two walks and a whiff. Derrike Johns pitched the final 1.2 frames for the Warriors, recording two strikeouts.

Fairfield improved to 12-3 with the win, while Westview dropped to 8-3 with the setback.

Both the Warriors and Falcons pulled out seventh-inning wins in the semifinal round Friday night. Jamar Weaver’s two-out single plated Lambright to give Westview a 5-4 victory over Churubusco. It was the second hit of the game for Weaver, who also pitched the first six innings for the Warriors, walking two and fanning five.

Zickafoose, whose two-run double in the third put Westview in front 2-1, tossed a scoreless seventh inning to earn the pitching win. Kody Poyser greeted Zickafoose with a single, but he was immediately erased from the base paths when Warrior catcher Kohle Christner threw him out trying to steal second.

The visiting Eagles took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on RBI hits by Garett Simmons and Poyser. Westview knotted the count at 3-all on John Yoder’s RBI groundout in the fourth and took a 4-3 edge on Berkey’s solo homer in the fifth. Churubusco tied the game once again in the sixth on an RBI single by Derek Bowyer.

At Benton, Austin Christner’s double in the bottom of the seventh scored Zac Kropf to give Fairfield a 4-3 triumph over Prairie Heights.

The Panthers tallied all three of their runs in the top of the first. Corey Johnson knocked in one of the markers with a double and Dylan Stayner plated another with a single. Joey Barry, who scored one of the Heights runs, finished with two hits.

Fairfield netted its first run in the third then tied the score with a pair of tallies in the fifth. Kropf led the Falcons with three hits. Bobeck tripled and pitched all seven innings to earn a win.

Johnson started on the hill for the Panthers, scattering seven hits and striking out four in 4.1 innings. Jacob Heller and Mike Gustin finished up for Johnson.