Guy Ellis

The Fairland Fighting Owls baseball team (5-0) breezed through pool play on Wednesday and Thursday at the Ketchum Hardball Classic with wins over Commerce and the hosting Warriors.

The Owls dropped Commerce with a 13-2 decision in four innings. Fairland pitcher Yancey Lett earned his second win of the season delivering five strikeouts and giving up two hits.

“Yancey did a great job of getting ahead in the count, which is what I specifically asked him to focus on,” said FHS Baseball Head Coach Jerry Johnson.

Lett also knocked a three-run homer in the first inning. Teammate Zach Needham had a solo homer in the third and Cale Schumacher went 2 for 2 at the plate with an RBI.

“Offensively we’re giving our starting pitchers a lot of run support throughout the line up,” Johnson said. “We seem to be hitting the ball pretty well right now and making things happen.

“Our big inning was the third (eight runs, six hits.) Jordan Alexander (2 for 3) and Brett Blalock (1 for 2) reached on base hits and Jon Henry (1 for 3) laid down a nice bunt to move the runners up and he ended up safe at first,” Johnson said.

With the bases loaded Fairland piled on the runs with RBI’s from Jacob Bryant, Stevie Nowlin, and Alexander as the Owls went through the line up in the side.

Against Ketchum on Thursday Fairland senior Nowlin picked up his first win of the season in an 8-0 contest. The right hander went the five inning distance and hurled 11 strikeouts while giving up one hit.

“Stevie started a little rough with two free passes to the first two Ketchum hitters but he recovered quickly,” Johnson said. “He did a good job to work out of that situation in the first and then settled in and pitched well.”

Fairland scored three runs in the first and repeated the feat in the fourth before adding two runs in the fifth to make for the final.

Nowlin went 2 for 3 at the plate while Blalock went 2 for 2 with an RBI and a double. Jacob Bryant had a 1 for 2 showing with a two run RBI in the fourth.

“Offensively we did a good job of getting it in play throughout the line up,” Johnson said. “But for the most part Ketchum did a good job on defense.”

The Owls continue in the Hardball today (Friday) in a high-noon showdown with Foyil. Final bracket play will begin on Saturday.