Tomcats hold off Eagles

Apr. 27—ASHLAND — It took a bit for Ashland to get rolling on Friday, but once that roll got started, Fairview couldn't catch up.

"We talk about execution all the time," Ashland coach Shane Marushi said. "You have to execute in situations. We don't hit a lot of gaps, we don't hit very many out of the ballpark, so when we get a chance to score, we have to execute. We did that enough tonight."

The Tomcats took down the Eagles, 6-4, in a matchup where both teams took a bit to get their footing.

"We made some base running and fielding errors that really hurt us," Fairview coach Cody Sammons said. "They capitalized off our mistakes but we didn't capitalize off the mistakes they made."

In the first two innings, there was just one hit among both teams, off the bat of Fairview's Jace Manning.

Ashland's fielders kept the Eagles at bay while Fairview pitcher Tanner Reihs struck out three batters early.

The Tomcats changed that in the bottom of the third frame.

Ashland started the inning with three straight hits from LJ Murphy, Brady Marushi, and Drew Kelley.

Kelley's hit brought home Murphy to get the Tomcats on the board.

On the fourth at-bat, Parker Church sent a ball to deep center field for a sacrifice fly that sent Marushi to the plate.

Fairview got out of the inning. Reihs punched out Pierce Wamsley before securing a fly out from Sam Lyons.

The Eagles got a run back to start the fourth inning with a sac fly from Blake Hall that brought Reihs home.

Reihs hit a leadoff triple to open the frame.

"That might be the first triple of his career," Sammons said. "So I'm sure he liked that one. From the mound, he's our guy for a reason. He did great and threw his game. We backed him up for 90% of the game. The 10% we didn't is what hurt us."

Ashland took that one run right back in the bottom of the fourth. Austin Blevins circled the bases and came home after he reached on a single.

Fairview got runners on first and second with Reihs back up to bat.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, there were already two outs on the board and Reihs couldn't replicate the earlier triple but instead popped out.

The Tomcats doubled their score in the fifth inning.

"I thought we were okay from the plate tonight," Marushi said. "Our strikeout count wasn't that high, but they were in critical situations. Credit to Reihs for doing a good job of mixing things up and keeping us off stride."

The first run came with two outs on the board after a ball hit by Wamsley was mishandled. Church raced home on the play.

The second arrived following a bomb sent to center field by Lyons for an RBI triple.

Austin Blevins brought Lyons home with an RBI single.

Fairview managed to score two runs in the sixth inning with a catching error and an RBI single from Tevin Smith to make it 6-3.

That's where the score stayed going into the top of the seventh for the Eagles' last shot.

Fairview got one run on an error off the bat of Hall that got Izaac Johnson to plate.

It was all Fairview could muster, however, as the Tomcats sealed the victory with a pair of strikeouts bookending Hall's at-bat.

"I love these guys. They keep on working," Marushi said. "We'll load up the bus and go to Lewis (County today) then get here and host Lawrence County Monday. They play hard. They're just young and learning. They're a work in progress."

Fairview's hopes of making a region tournament run through Ashland in a few weeks. The Eagles know what they have to do to get the job done.

"We have to clean up the little things," Sammons said. "That's what takes a team from good to great. We haven't been to the region (tournament) since 2009, so that's a big goal for us. I like the direction we're going and we know who we have to beat."

FAIRVIEW 000 102 1 — 4 7 5

ASHLAND 002 130 X — 6 6 4

Reihs, Cummings (6) and Williams; Church, West (6), Kelley and Marushi. W — Church. L — Reihs. 3B — Reihs (F), Lyons (A).

(606) 326-2658 —