By: Connor Canfield
Fairview Park, Ohio- It had been 684 days since the Fairview Warriors had last played a game. They did not look very rusty as they defeated the Brooklyn Hurricanes 10-0 on opening day.
Ben Leslie made his varsity debut for the Warriors as he was given the nod to be the opening day starter. He had a solid first inning getting the leadoff hitter to fly out and striking out the next guy. He managed to work around a little jam as the three-hitter picked up a single and then swiped a bag, but he got the cleanup hitter to fly out. Josh Hill would get the party started for Fairview as he led off with a double and advanced to third on a throwing error. After a Leslie pop out, Timmy Hollander would pick up a walk. The cleanup hitter Jack Burke would come to the plate and wouldn’t have to do much to drive Hill in as a passed ball allowed Hill to score and Hollander to advance to second. Burke would proceed to rip a liner into center and Hollander would chug home. Burke would steal second and Alex Barnhart would hit one about three feet in front of the plate, but ended up beating it out after an initial overrun by the Hurricanes catcher. Tyler Danburg would come up to the plate and Barnhart took off but Fairview ran themselves out of the inning as Burke took off for home on the throw to second and would be gunned down and Barnhart tried to take third on the throw home and would be trapped in a rundown and tagged out.
Brooklyn would begin the second inning with an infield single and a stole second. However, the battery combo of Leslie and catcher Tyler Danburg converted a strike them out throw them out as Leslie picked up his second strikeout and Danburg would throw out the runner breaking for third. Leslie would pick up his third strikeout to end the top half of the inning. Tyler Danburg would begin the bottom half with a single up the middle and would swipe second. After a couple of outs, Danburg would attempt to steal third and the throw would get away, allowing the senior to scamper home and extend the Fairview lead to 3-0. The nine-hitter Avery Bruening would pick up a two-out walk and a stolen base. Josh Hill would come back up and would pick up a walk. Leslie would come back up to the plate and would fly one out to left and what should’ve been a routine fly out turned into a run as the ball was dropped and Bruening would score to make it 4-0. The Warriors would leave two on as Hollander would ground out to end the inning but the Warriors would strike for two more runs.
Leslie would cruise through the third as he picked up his fourth and fifth strikeouts and would catch the inning-ending popup. Jack Burke would lead off with a single and Danburg would add another after a Barnhart fly out but the Warriors couldn’t cash them in as the Hurricanes worked out of a jam.
It was another nice inning for Leslie as he struck out the first two guys to begin the inning. Brooklyn would get some life after a walk and a hit but couldn’t convert as Leslie would pick up his eighth strikeout of the game for the third out. Bruening would begin the bottom of the inning with a lead-off single. Josh Hill would have another beautiful at-bat as he masterfully worked the count and picked up his second base on balls (walk) of the game. After a Leslie fly out, Hollander would pick up his second walk of the game to load the bases. Jack Burke would come to the plate and during the middle of his at-bat, a balk was called on the Hurricanes that allowed Bruening to come home and extend the lead to 5-0. Burke would finish his at-bat with a sac fly to left and Hill would tag up and score to make it 6-0 Warriors. Hollander would steal third and Barnhart would drive him home with an RBI single to center to make it 7-0. Danburg would bang a single down the line and Lopez would be hit by a pitch to load the bases but McNamara would have a tough at-bat that ended in a strikeout to end the inning.
The Hurricanes would go 1-2-3 in the fifth after Leslie picked up another two strikeouts. Avery Bruening would begin the bottom with another walk and would steal second. Josh Hill would then pick up his third walk of the game. A passed ball allowed Bruening and Hill to move up a base. It was another passed ball that allowed Bruening to come home and make it 8-0. Hollander would have a nice at-bat and managed to fight to a walk, his third of the game. After a Hollander stolen base, Jack Burke would ground out to short but picked up an RBI as Hill came home to make it 9-0. The third passed ball of the inning allowed Hollander to come home and score making it 10-0 which would be the dagger as once you get to the fifth inning a mercy rule goes into effect if you lead by ten runs.
The Warriors open the season with a W and it couldn’t have been a better game on the mound by Ben Leslie. The sophomore looked like a senior as he struck out ten while only allowing three hits. Looking at the batting statistics multiple guys had great games as Tyler Danburg led the team with three hits while Burke and Barnhart each had two. Jack Burke also led the team in RBI’s as he drove in two. Josh Hill and Timmy Hollander had some great discipline as they each drew three walks.
Fairview will begin the season at 1-0 and will travel to Midview on Monday. Brooklyn will open at 0-1 and will travel to Lutheran West on Monday.
Ben Leslie: 10 K’s 3 H
Josh Hill 1-1 2B 3 BB
Ben Leslie 0-4
Timmy Hollander 0-1 3 BB 1 SB
Jack Burke 2-3 2 RBI 1 SB
Alex Barnhart 2-3 1RBI 1 SB
Tyler Danburg 3-3
Enrique Lopez 0-2 1 HBP
Sean McNamara 0-3
Avery Bruening 1-1 2 BB 1 SB