FAIRMONT - Fairmont ace right-hander Shaun McGuire utilized his full arsenal of pitches to keep Tracy's batters off-stride throughout Wednesday night's Class 'C' amateur baseball playoff opener.
McGuire displayed outstanding control by recording eight strikeouts and issuing only two walks in firing a complete game, while the No. 1-seeded Martins' lethal lineup pounded out 18 hits to derail the No. 8-seeded Express in seven innings, 15-1, at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
Fairmont (18-3), the First Nite League regular-season champion, travels to Tracy on Saturday for a 2 p.m. Game 2 of the best-of-3 first-round postseason series.
IN THE SHOULDER — Fairmont Martins runner Jon Ellis gets hit the shoulder by a throw to Express second baseman Parker Lanoue during Class ‘C’ amateur baseball playoff action on Wednesday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. Tracy shortstop Shay Wabeke backs up the play. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
"He (McGuire) did a nice job of throwing a lot of strikes tonight, and our (offensive) lineup gave him all of the run support he would need," said Martins player-coach Adam Schmidt.
After McGuire needed only nine pitches to work a quick 1-2-3 top of the first inning, Fairmont's balanced batting order delivered two runs during the home half.
Leadoff batter Jon Ellis, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, legged out an infield hit, stole second base and wheeled to third on a wild pitch. Ellis stayed at the hot corner on a walk to Scott Chirpich before trotting home on McGuire's RBI fielder's choice that did not produce an out.
Scott Chirpich, who reached third when Max Waletich's sharp grounder to third was mishandled, scampered home on Levi Becker's sacrifice fly to left.
McGuire surrendered a leadoff single to Eric Wiering in the second before shortstop Scott Chirpich triggered a 6-4-3 double play to thwart Tracy's early threat.
Ellis then served as the Martins' second-inning offensive catalyst with two out. Ellis singled, swiped second and sprinted home on Scott Chirpich's RBI single to right-center. Chirpich then stole second before trading places with McGuire, who smacked a run-scoring single to left before advancing to second on the throw home.
Trailing 4-0, Express starting pitcher Phil Madsen assisted his own cause by lining a bad-hop double to lead off the third. Brian Fultz legged out a perfect bunt hit just in front of the plate before Parker Lanoue's sacrifice bunt did not register an out to load the bases.
Jeremy Hofflock later plated Madsen with an RBI fielder's choice to reduce Tracy's deficit to 4-1.
Luke Becker then triggered another two-run at-bat by legging out an infield hit, stealing second and speeding home on Schmidt's single.
Schmidt took second when Logan Peymann was plunked by a pitch, advanced 90 feet on Ian Bents' single and trotted home on Ellis' sacrifice fly for a 6-1 lead.
Fairmont then unleashed all three of its extra-base hits in consecutive style to trigger a four-run outburst during the bottom of the fourth.
McGuire drilled a leadoff single before scoring on Max Waletich's RBI double to right field. Waletich, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, swiped third before gliding home on Levi Becker's run-scoring triple to left.
Madsen exited the mound in place of Parker Lanoue, who was greeted by Luke Becker's deep RBI triple to right to bring home Levi Becker. Luke Becker then crossed the plate on Schmidt's RBI groundout for a 10-1 edge.
The Martins earned an early exit from the ballpark via the 10-run rule by exploding for five runs on six hits during the sixth.
Tanner Nawrocki singled, Schmidt followed suit and Peymann deposited an RBI single into center. Andy Reiter reached on an error before Ellis lined an RBI single back through the box.
Jay Ruen plated another run on a groundout before both Waletich and Levi Becker singled home solo runs for a 15-1 margin.
Ellis and Waletich generated three hits each, with Ellis scoring three times. McGuire, Levi Becker, Luke Becker and Schmidt each tallied two hits for Fairmont, with Levi Becker leading the way with three RBIs.
Tracy 001 000 0 - 1 4 5
Fmt 222 405 x - 15 18 1
Phil Madsen (LP), Parker Lanoue (4) and Eric Wiering. Shaun McGuire (WP) and Andy Reiter.
LOB-Fairmont 10, Tracy 5. 2B-Max Waletich (F), Madsen (T). 3B-Levi Becker (F), Luke Becker (F). SF-Jon Ellis (F), Levi Becker (F). SAC-Parker Lanoue (T).