Miller strikes out 13, Blue Lions win with walk-off

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Washington sophomore Will Miller looks to deliver a pitch from the mound during their game against Fairfield Union on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Miller would strike out 13 batters over the course of seven innings, allowing just three hits and one unearned run. The Blue Lions would defeat the Falcons 2-1 on a walk-off single from Titus Lotz.

Photos by Mary Kay West

It was a battle between two of the top teams in the area on Thursday as the Washington Blue Lions (5-1) hosted the undefeated Fairfield Union Falcons (4-0) in a non-conference baseball contest.

Will Miller would start for the Blue Lions on the mound, while the Falcons went with Jacob Forson.

Miller would turn in a gem of a game for Washington, allowing just three hits and one run (unearned) over seven innings, while striking out 13 batters.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth inning. The inning started with a Falcon batter hit by a pitch, then Miller would strike out the next two batters. The base runner would later score on a passed ball to make it 1-0.

Washington would come to their final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning still down 1-0, looking to either send the game to extra innings or win it on a walk-off. Jonah Waters started the inning with a line drive single to center field. A.J. Dallmayer came in to pinch run for Waters and quickly stole second base. He advanced to third on an error and would later score on a sacrifice fly from Tanner Lemaster, tying the game. The next two batters were retired to send the game to extra innings.

This would end Miller’s night on the mound as Evan Lynch came in to relieve him. Lynch was able to get out of the inning allowing no hits and just one walk, giving the Blue Lions a chance to win it in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Gavin Coffman was the first to the plate and was hit by a pitch. Miller was up next and would lay down a bunt that went for a single, advancing Coffman to second base. John Wall flew out to the center fielder, who then threw the ball to the second baseman who tagged Miller for a double play. Lynch was up next and drew a walk, bringing senior Titus Lotz to the plate. With the winning run on third, two outs and a full count, Lotz ripped a single to right field to score Coffman and win the game for Washington.

Lynch’s inning in relief was good enough to earn him the win on the mound.

Forson would take the loss for the Falcons, working seven and two-thirds innings and allowing seven hits, two runs (one earned), striking out six and walking two.

Offensively for Washington, Wall went 2 for 4 with a double. Waters went 2 for 3, Miller was 1 for 3, Lemaster was 1 for 2 with an RBI, and Lotz was 1 for 4 with a game-winning RBI.

Washington (6-1) plays again on Monday, April 10 at Hillsboro with a 5 p.m. start time.

Fairfield Union (4-1) plays next on Monday, April 10 at home against Teays Valley at 5:15 p.m.

In other FAC baseball games on Thursday, Miami Trace defeated Germantown Valley View by a score of 5-3, Jackson defeated Brockport (NY) 4-1, and McClain tied Margaretta 7-7 after nine innings.