FAIRMONT — Fairmont senior pitcher Randy Floyd was ready to throw against Red Springs, and a two-day delay because of rain only intensified those feelings toward the matchup.
When he finally got the ball on the mound at Fairmont on Thursday, Floyd wanted to prove the Red Devils wrong.
“They were one of the best teams in the conference according to what everybody was speaking. They were a little cocking coming in and I like that,” he said. “It was something personal I wanted to do.”
Behind five solid innings from their ace, the Golden Tornadoes posted early runs and never looked back to move into a tie for second place in the Three Rivers Conference with a 6-2 win over the Red Devils.
“I thought tonight was big with Randy on the mound,” Fairmont coach Sandy Thorndyke said. “I think he was looking forward to Red Springs because at South Columbus he wasn’t too sharp.
“He wanted us to give him the ball and he pitches well here. All these big games we throw him on the mound and he’s a senior who comes through for us.”
Floyd struck out 10 batters and surrendered three hits during his time on the mound, departing with a 5-0 lead in the sixth inning. After a trio of runs came in the bottom of the first inning, his intensity picked up over the final four innings.
“I felt a little iffy going in, but once I got my groove, I felt pretty good,” the UNCP signee said. “It definitely built up my confidence knowing I had run support and my team was hitting it pretty decent today.”
Fairmont (6-2, 5-2 TRC) struck first when Floyd helped his own cause with an RBI ground out. Two batters later, Skyler Hunt hit an RBI triple, and scored on a groundout by Jayden Freeman.
Red Springs (6-3, 4-3 TRC) went three complete innings before finally getting to Floyd when Coty Locklear led off the fourth with a single. The Red Devils threatened with two runners on, but never scored that inning.
Two more Fairmont runs came across in the fifth inning when Freeman hit a two-out single with the bases loaded. Winners of their last four games, Thorndyke has seen the young Golden Tornadoes’ bats pick up in recent weeks.
“They got to mature sometime. We got sophomore and juniors playing everywhere,” he said. “Skyler is on fire right now and hitting it well.”
Freeman had three RBIs, Hunt had a pair of hits and one RBI, and Logan Boeshore and Michael Richardson each added two hits.
Locklear had three hits to lead Red Springs, while Jaylen Mack added a pair of base knocks at the plate.
The two Red Springs runs came late when Locklear scored on a throwing error after stealing third base in the sixth, and had an RBI single in the final frame.
Fairmont plays at East Columbus and Red Springs hosts West Columbus today.
In softball action, Fairmont held off Red Springs late for a 8-7 win at home.
The Lady Golden Tornadoes (4-4, 4-3 TRC) scored six runs in the first four innings to lead the Lady Red Devils (2-7, 0-7 TRC) 6-2. Both teams traded out one-run innings in the fifth and sixth frames, before Red Springs scored three runs in the top of the seventh, but came up short.
Courtney Purvis and Amber Hunt each had two hits and an RBI, while Kiara Page and Grace McMillan had a hit and an RBI each for Fairmont. Red Springs’ Katelyn Culbreth had two hits and four RBIs, while striking out six batters in the circle. Kiera Bryant had three hits to lead the Lady Red Devils.
Purnell Swett tennis drops home match
PEMBROKE — The Purnell Swett boys tennis team dropped a home Sandhills Athletic Conference match to Richmond on Thursday, 6-3.
Ben Brooks and Pacey Brooks each picked up singles wins for the Rams, while the duo of Jydor Locklear and Jaron Cummngs won a doubles match.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.