It’s been two years since Nitro won the Class AAA baseball championship. So Thursday night head coach Steve Pritchard didn’t mind waiting over three hours and nine innings of baseball for his Wildcats to return.
Nitro saw a three run lead evaporate in the bottom of the seventh, but put two up in the top of the ninth to come away with a 10-8 win over Fairmont Senior. Korey Dunbar went the distance for the Wildcats. Headed to the University Of North Carolina as a catcher, Dunbar yielded eleven hits, struck out twelve and walked four while throwing 154 pitches.
No Nitro player had more than one hit but Dylan Slack and Ryan McDonough each had a pair of runs batted in and Evan Eich and Slack each scored twice. Fairmont was victimized by six errors.
Ethan Clark walked to open the ninth and went to second on a single by Eich. After Dunbar walked to load the bases McDonough walked to force in Clark. A wild pitch scored Eich and Nitro had their margin of victory.
With the win the Wildcats move to face Princeton Saturday. The Tigers disposed of Bridgeport 5-1 Thursday afternoon. Nitro will make their fourth appearance in the last five years in the title game while Princeton is making their first ever.
Johnny Kesling collected three hits for Fairmont and knocked in three of the eight runs.