Raiders beat Fairmont, advance to Eastern Championship

Raider pitcher Matt Barefoot fires a pitch to the plate on Friday night during Midway’s win over Fairmont. Barefoot was huge for Midway during big moments on the hill, and turned in a 3-hit performance at the plate as well.

Radier Tyler Pope gets a lead after an RBI hit on Friday.

Midway is headed back to the Eastern Final after an impressive offensive performance in an 8-5 win over visiting Fairmont on Friday night.

Matt Barefoot pitched for Midway and allowed the five runs on 6 hits while striking out 13 Golden Tornado batters. His start was good enough for the win.

Midway struck first in the bottom of the first inning when a Tyler Pope chopper bounced over the shallow-playing Fairmont infield. The hit would score Barefoot and Kyle Hawley to give Midway the early 2-0 lead. Two innings later, Wesley Johnson had an RBI single and Hawley followed with a 2-run triple to give Midway a 5-0 lead.

But then here came Fairmont. The Golden Tornadoes plated four runs in the third inning during a two-out rally that turned things back into a very competitive game.

However, the Raiders had an answer. They responded with a two-run bottom half of the third to take a 7-4 lead. Jake Clark and Matt Barefoot each had 2-out RBIs, or clutchwhacks as the Raiders would call them, to give themselves a little more cushion.

Fairmont would score their last run of the game on a wild-pitch in the top half of inning number six. They nearly got two more, but an incredible catch by Dylan Hardison in center-field ended the inning. Midway responded again in the bottom of the sixth, when Kyle Hawley scored Barefoot to give them the three run advantage once more.

The game ended when Matt Barefoot rung up the final Golden Tornado batter with a runner left on second base. The win puts Midway in the Eastern Championship for the third time in as many years.

“We played well tonight, it was probably the best game we have played all year, and we knew it had to be,” said Midway’s head coach, Jason Fussell. “I am incredibly proud of our guys. We challenged them to come out and hit the ball, and they did. We had some sophomores really step up for us tonight and get some big hits, and I thought that as a team we were just really aggressive at the plate.

“We missed some signs on the basepaths tonight, but we’re going to the Eastern Championship, so it is hard to complain too much,” finished Fussell.

Midway is now set to take on South Granville in the Eastern Championship Series, which is a three game series that is set to be played next week. The game dates are still yet to be determined. For more information on these games and Midway baseball, follow Adam Capps on Twitter @ac4birdie. Also follow the newspaper on Twitter @ac4birdie.