It is no secret that the Fairview baseball team can swing it. The Knights have put together one of their finest ever offensive seasons.
But what transpired Saturday bordered on ridiculous.
There’s sneaking into the state tournament, and then there is what the No. 3 Knights did. They bashed the door down with a 13-1 pasting of No. 14 Arapahoe in the Class 5A District 7 championship game, an onslaught that featured a first inning for the ages.
Fairview (20-1) scored 10 runs and chased two pitchers before Arapahoe recorded the first out of the game. The barrage included three home runs, two triples and four doubles.
“Not since little league have I seen anything like that,” Knights infielder Jake Thoning said. “Usually the second guy comes in and gets control, but I guess we just kept on swinging away.”
Cameron Frazier and Cannon Casey opened with successive triples, and Walker Harris followed with a homer to left. Jeff Clarke singled and Ryan Madden doubled, which chased Warriors starter C.J. Bossert.
Scott Hutmacher took the mound and was greeted by back-to-back homers by Thoning and Tim Ryan (Ryan also blasted two homers in an opening 8-3 win against Mullen). And then the Knights kept on hitting.
“We always ask ‘when are we going to unload?'” Fairview coach Rick Harig said. “We knew it was going to happen, we just weren’t sure when. It turned out it was the first inning.”
Ryan Kokora (9-0) sailed through four innings after yielding a run to Arapahoe (15-6) in the first and Mike Vlasity pitched a 1-2-3 fifth to close it out. The Knights finished with 11 extra-base hits (and two singles) in their four innings at the plate.
Of all the gaudy numbers, Ryan’s were the best. Combined in the two games, the outfielder went 4-for-5 with three homers, a double and six RBIs.
“Just a lucky day, I guess,” Ryan said. “Everyone was hitting well. Everyone hit the ball hard and some of them ended up going out. We just played how we have all season and hopefully we can do it again next week.”
Ryan has done his damage from the No. 7 spot in the order, which is where he’ll stay.
“We don’t want to change it,” said Harig, who is aiming to bring the Knights to their first title game since 1999 and first championship since 1993. “We have a lot of guys who protect a lot of other guys. . . . But yeah, he got hot and that’s a good thing.”
In the opener, Ryan hit a first-pitch grand slam in the first inning to stake the Knights to a 5-0 advantage. It was the lone hit of the inning and came after a third-strike passed ball and an error kept Fairview alive.
Ryan blasted a solo homer to nearly the same spot in the fourth – well over the 390-foot marker in center field – to give the Knights a 6-3 lead. Jake Kearney added an RBI double and Cannon Casey a sacrifice fly in the inning.
The cushion was plenty for Madden (9-1), who tossed a complete game. Madden struck out nine and only struggled in the third, when Mullen (8-12) scored all of its runs.
Overall, the Knights are primed and ready for the double-elimination tournament, which begins Friday.
“We’re looking to stomp on some people, maybe play some close games with small-ball stuff,” Thoning said. “Right now we’re just looking forward to the next team.”
Fairview 13, Arapahoe 1
At Fairview HS
Arapahoe 100 00 — 1 5 1
Fairview (10)11 0X — 13 13 0
W —Kokora (9-0). L — Bossart (3-2).
Arapahoe hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ga. Johnston 3-0-0-0, Williams 3-0-1-0, Ramirez 3-0-2-0, Trask 1-0-1-1, Whitehead 2-0-0-0, Gr. Johnston 2-0-0-0, Rike 2-0-0-0, Lindell 2-0-1-0, Sutter 2-0-0-0. Totals 20-1-5-1. 2B — Lindell. SB — Trask.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 4-2-3-1, Casey 4-1-2-4, Harris 2-1-1-2, Clarke 3-2-2-0, Madden 3-1-1-0, Thoning 3-1-1-2, Ryan 2-3-2-1, Feauto 3-1-1-0, Kearney 2-1-0-0, Willemsen 0-0-0-0. 2B — Frazier, Casey, Madden, Ryan, Feauto. 3B — Frazier, Casey, Clarke. HR — Harris (one on in 1st), Thoning (solo in first), Ryan (solo in 1st). SB — Frazier, Willemsen.
Arapahoe pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Bossart 0-5-5-5-0-0, Hutmacher 0-5-5-4-0-0, R. Kearney 4-3-3-3-3-5.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kokora 4-5-1-1-1-6, Vlasity 1-0-0-0.
Fairview 8, Mullen 3
At Fairview HS
Mullen 003 000 0 — 3 6 2
Fairview 500 300 X — 8 5 1
W — Madden (9-1). L — Watson (3-4).
Mullen hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — A. Duran 4-1-3-0, Mitchell 4-0-1-2, Urban 2-0-0-0, D. Duran 3-0-2-0, Kellett 3-0-0-0, Dobrash 3-0-0-0, Reyburn 3-0-0-0, Porreco 3-1-0-0, Watson 1-1-0-0, Machado 1-0-0-0. Totals 27-3-6-2.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 4-0-1-0, Casey 3-0-0-1, Harris 2-1-0-0, Clarke 1-1-1-0, Madden 2-1-0-0, Thoning 3-1-0-0, Ryan 3-2-2-5, Feauto 2-1-0-0, Kearney 3-1-1-1. Totals 23-8-5-7. 2B — Kearney. HR — Ryan 2 (grand slam in 1st; solo in 4th). SB — Frazier.
Mullen pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Watson 4-5-8-3-6-3, Kellett 2-0-0-0-0-3.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Madden 7-6-3-2-2-9.