FULTON, Ky. — Pitcher Jake Donze highlighted an often frustrating summer for the Farmington Firebirds last season by notching five wins to lead the entire pitching staff.
On Sunday night, the left-hander from Ste. Genevieve and Murray State University helped the Fulton Railroaders complete a three-game series sweep over his former club with five solid innings in a 6-2 victory at Lohaus Field.
Donze recorded seven strikeouts and scattered four hits with three walks for the win. He retired 10 of 11 batters after allowing a game-opening single to Firebirds infielder L.J. Watson.
Farmington (0-3) snapped a scoreless tie in the fourth inning on a RBI double to left by Juan Favela. Adam Speas made it 2-0 with a RBI ground out that scored Casey Jones, who had singled sharply to right-center.
Firebirds starter Chris Giblin worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the opening frame, and later received defensive help when catcher Kyle Wampler caught two runners trying to reach third base on separate errant pitches to the backstop.
However, Fulton would break through against Giblin in the fifth by capitalizing on three of his seven walks allowed.
Consecutive free passes to Kurt Dudley and Elliot Frey with the bases full tied the score, and Louie Haseltine put the Railroaders ahead with a two-run single. J.D. Ashbrook capped the rally with a RBI ground out to make it 5-2.
Fulton (3-0) tallied an unearned run in the sixth on a RBI double from lead-off batter Hunter Dawson, who finished 3-for-4 with two infield hits. Dudley reached base four times for the home squad.
Singles by Mitch Guemmer and Wampler sparked a Farmington threat against reliever Tyler Hall in the seventh, but a deep drive hit by Blake Slattery was caught near the base of the center-field wall.
The Firebirds also stranded two runners during the ninth inning following a pinch-single from Saturday’s starting pitcher Mike Zaccariello. Wampler finished 2-for-5 overall at the plate.
Wes Dagestad provided another superb effort out of a Farmington bullpen that performed well throughout the series. Dagestad worked four innings and yielded no earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts.
The Firebirds will continue their current road trip tonight at rival Union City. The home opener against Tradewater is set for Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Farmington 000 200 000 – 2 7 2
Fulton 000 051 00x – 6 7 0
WP – Donze 5i 2r 4h 7k 3bb 1hb.
LP – Giblin 4i 5r 4h 2k 7bb.
Farmington – Wampler 2-5, Zaccariello 1-1, Guemmer 1-3, Favela 1-4, Jones 1-4, Watson 1-5. 2b – Favela.
Fulton – Dawson 3-4, Dudley 1-1, Haseltine 1-3, Kimbell 1-3, Ashbrook 1-4. 2b – Dawson.