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Hot hitting produces Firebirds’ win

FULTON, KY – Having played their last game against second place Union City (19-10) on Sunday, the Farmington Firebirds (19-7) are in control of their own destiny. They started that attempt on Monday with an 11-5 win over the Fulton Railroaders.

Pitcher Mike Cole kept the Railroaders off-balance while his teammates took batting practice in the Firebirds half of the innings. Cole would not get the win however, since the righthander faded out in the fourth inning.

“He (Cole) told me he didn’t have any more, and since his turn at bat in the bottom of the inning was an ideal spot to use a pinch-hitter, ” said Firebirds coach Hal Loughary, “I made the switch.”

Aaron Byington recorded the win, throwing only one-and-one-third innings. Dustin Mayberry entered the game in the sixth with one out, and shut down the Railroaders for the most part. Only a home run by Sean O’Connor in the seventh marred Mayberry’s finishing of the game.

The Firebirds had their bats heated up as they banged out seven hits in the first two innings and led 4-0 after two. The Firebirds had three hits in a row after the first two batters were retired in the first inning. Ben Schnurbusch drove in the first run with a two-out double, a racing Ryan Becker took the chance to also score on the hit, but was gunned down at the plate.

Things did not let up in the second inning as Michael Hall led off with a single, Lucas Hulsey walked and Scott Hubbard also singled before the first out was made. All three batters would score as singles by Justin Holmes and Kenny Pikula helped the Firebirds increase their lead.

The Railroaders cut the lead in half in the third inning as a two-out walk to Nick Bruner and Zach Parham took one for the team. Jon Stang made Cole pay for the mistakes with a two RBI single.

The Firebirds would blow things wide open with five runs in the fifth inning, and would chase Fulton’s starter Jonathan Hernandez from the mound.

Singles by Hall, Lucas Hulsey, Cole and Adam Howard helped put the game out of reach for the Firebirds. Mayberry made it stay that way. In the top of the sixth, a lead-off double by Becker was rewarded by a RBi single by Ben Schnurbusch. Schnurbusch would also score on a fielder’s choice hit by Adam Howard.

O’Connor and Bryan Harvey started off the Railroader’s sixth inning with a free pass. Singles by Murri Lazaroff-Babin and Bruner helped double Fulton’s score.

Only one more run would score, a solo shot by Sean O’Connor would be the game’s last score.

The Firebirds had 16 hits in the game. Fulton had six errors as well.

The Firebirds, who have played seven games over the past seven days, deserve a rest. They will receive two days off before resuming play on Thursday at home against Fulton as the season is winding down.

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