CERRO GORDO — After striking out in his first two at-bats and reaching base on an error in the sixth inning, Fairmont’s Logan Boeshore knew he had a job to do in extra innings against West Columbus on Monday night.
With two outs and a runner on second base in the eight inning, Boeshore hit an RBI single to right field that scored the go-ahead run for the Golden Tornadoes and helped them turn back a late comeback effort by the Vikings with a 4-3 victory.
“For them to come back late in the game, it kind of scared me a little bit, but I knew I had to wait on the right pitch and drive it to right field,” Boeshore said.
The Golden Tornadoes took a three-run lead in the top of the fifth inning, but West Columbus (11-7, 9-4 TRC) rallied to score one run in each of the next three frames to tie the game.
The win was the eighth in a row for the Golden Tornadoes (14-3, 9-3 TRC), who secured the second-place tiebreaker with the Vikings in the Three Rivers Conference.
“They fought back and they battled. Randy (Floyd) threw the ball well and we scored a run early,” Fairmont head coach Sandy Thorndyke said. “We had a chance to end it in regulation. We just couldn’t keep them off base.”
Floyd was on the mound for all but one out of the eight-inning contest. He tallied 10 strikeouts and allowed four hits while walking three batters.
“I started off decent. At the end I got a little shaky, got a little nervous,” Floyd said.
Marcus Ransom drew a leadoff walk in the first inning to start a rally against West Columbus starter Jagger Haynes. Floyd followed by hustling out a bunt single before Seth Thorndyke hit a single of his own and reached second base on an error. Ransom took advantage of the defensive miscue by scoring from third base.
Floyd tried to score on a passed ball with two outs but was called out at home plate.
Floyd dealt Jagger his first earned run of the night with an RBI single in the fifth inning. Thorndyke plated another run on an infield single later in the inning.
After Floyd earned two quick outs in the bottom of the fifth, Shawn Tyson picked up an RBI single for the Vikings to close the deficit to two runs.
Tyson took over on the mound for the Vikings and stifled the Golden Tornadoes in the sixth inning, and Cole Benton drove in another run for West Columbus in the bottom of the frame.
Benton’s hit came against Fairmont pitcher Andrew Smith, who came in to pitch at the start of the sixth inning. He yielded a double, forced a groundout and allowed the run to score before Thorndyke put Floyd back on the mound.
Ransom advanced to third base for the Golden Tornadoes in the top of the seventh inning, but he was tagged out at the plate when Floyd hit into a fielder’s choice.
Jerry Locklear Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk against Floyd in the bottom of the inning, but a strikeout ended the possibility of a walk-off victory for the Vikings.
Floyd and Thorndyke both went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Golden Tornadoes.
Haynes allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out eight over five innings of work for the Vikings.
“A win tonight puts us in sole possession of second place (tiebreaker), but we have two tough games to go this week,” Sandy Throndyke said.
It was Fairmont’s second win of the season against the Vikings. The Tornadoes won the first meeting 5-4 at home on March 2.
In softball, Fairmont scored nine runs in the final two innings in a come-from-behind 12-7 win over West Columbus.
Mya Hunt came in to pitch the final two innings and earn the pitching victory for the Lady Golden Tornadoes (11-7, 7-5 TRC). Down 6-3 entering the top of the sixth, Fairmont scored five runs in that frame and four runs in the next to go up 12-6 over West Columbus (3-12, 3-9 TRC).
Mya Strickland hit a home run and a double for Fairmont, while also tallying three RBIs. Kaitlyn Hunt went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and Constance Oxendine added an RBI as well.
West Columbus’ Kasey Collins and Hailey McKeithan each had two RBIs.
Lady Rams fall short to Jack Britt in soccer
FAYETTEVILLE — After tying the game in the first half, a late first-half goal from the Jack Britt girls soccer team was the deciding factor in a 2-1 home win over Purnell Swett.
Abi Lowry was the only Lady Ram to notch a goal in the game, to tie the score at 1-all, but the Purnell Swett offense couldn’t generate an equalizer in the second half.
Pinecrest earned a 9-0 win at Lumberton on Monday as well.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.