By John Bombatch
FAIRBORN — A surprise four-run first inning by underdog no. 10 seed Clayton Northmont put host Fairborn on its heels, Thursday at Skyhawk Stadium. Despite two solo home runs by Ryan Profitt, no. 8-seeded Fairborn couldn’t find a way to battle back, in a 6-2 loss in the second round of the Division I sectional baseball tournament.
Thunderbolts ace pitcher Jacob Monnin was a big reason why the Skyhawks couldn’t get untracked. Monnin limited Fairborn to six hits in his complete-game seven innings of work, and struckout six.
“I’ve gotta give 33 (Profitt) all the credit in the world, man. Those were good pitches, and he just turned on them,” veteran Northmont coach Chuck Harlow said. ” But 33’s not the story today. Fifteen (Monnin) was the story today. He did a heckuva job out there on the hill. He battled the whole way and he did a great job.”
Besides Northmont’s four-run, five-hit barrage in the first inning, the Thunderbolts added a run in the fourth when Anthony Ragan got on with a bunt single, stole two bases and scored on an infield error, and the ‘Bolts added their sixth run in the seventh when Austin Kossoudji scored from second on an errant pick-off throw to first.
The two Skyhawks runs came on a pair of no-doubt solo home runs by Fairborn’s Profitt in the fourth and sixth innings.
“That Josh Patrick is the best dag-gone young coach in America, I’m telling ya,” Harlow said. “He’s taken this once dead-end program and made it as competitive as hell. He’s a helluva coach and he’s got a great staff.”
Fairborn ends the season with an 18-10 overall record.
According to Fairborn Athletic Director Micah Harding, no other Fairborn team has won that many games in the 10 years that the school has been a member of the Greater Western Ohio Conference. He said the only Fairborn high school to win more games was Baker High School (21) back in 1981.
“Our guys were fighting every single inning, and we were getting guys on base. We just couldn’t get that next big hit when we needed it tonight,” Patrick said. “Monnin did a heckuva job today, too. He’s been pretty solid all year for them.”
Aside from Profitt’s two bombs, senior Brent Grody was the other Skyhawk with multiple hits. He had a pair of singles. Andy Gilbert got on with a single, Jacob Well reached base on a fielder’s choice play and doubled, and Will Coleman reached base on an infield error.
Patrick credited his four seniors — Matt Peterangelo, Grody, Gilbert and Jake Neece — as a big reason for the Skyhawks’ record-breaking season.
“This team has a lot to celebrate and those seniors really set the standard of what it’s supposed to look like, moving forward,” Patrick said.
Northmont will face New Carlisle Tecumseh, a surprising 4-3 upset winner over top-seeded and state-ranked Vandalia Butler. Harlow didn’t believe the news, at first.
“Whoever we play, we’ll have to give it our all,” he said. “Anyone can win these games.”
Fairborn learned that lesson the hard way.