A two-game series with Canton McKinley last week put a cap on the 2010 baseball season for the Fitch Falcons.
True to the inconsistent form the Falcons displayed all season, they split those two games winning 12-2 May 20 at home then falling 1-0 the following day in Canton. That loss ended Fitch’s campaign with a 10-18 record overall and 4-10 in the Federal League.
According to Fitch head coach Wally Ford, the disparity in the two outcomes last week was right in line with how baseball in the Federal League is usually played.
“It was typical for the Federal League,” said Ford from his home. “One day you score a lot of runs, the next day you can’t.”
The Falcons scored all of the runs they would need in the second inning of the game they won. Fitch would hang a seven spot on the Bulldogs in that frame and would total 10 hits for the day. Leading the Falcons offensively was Chris Miller who had two hits, Anthony Savko who had a pair of hits and Ralph Testa who tapped two hits and had three RBIs.
Miller made the most of his final start of his Fitch career giving up just two hits and striking out eight. He would end the season with a 3-5 record.
Fellow senior Ty Hartman took the mound last Friday and found the Bulldogs to be boorish hosts at home. Although Hartman only gave up one run on three hits with 12 strikeouts, he was outdueled by McKinley’s Cameron Palmer. The future University of Toledo pitcher also fanned a dozen, but he saw Hartman’s three-hitter and raised him with a one-hit shutout.
“Both (Hartman) and Palmer did well,” Ford said. “Hartman pitched a great game. His curve ball was really working. Hartman and Chris Miller have pitched in hard luck all season.”
Of course, if it wasn’t for hard luck there wouldn’t have been any luck this season for the Falcons. Fitch struggled all season to get into a groove, but it took until the end of the year for the team to win four out of five inside the conference. Those final wins pulled Fitch back to respectability and proved to Coach Ford that his kids had a lot of heart.
“We could have given up and finished, but we didn’t,” said the coach happily. “I am proud of the way the kids hung in there. We hit the ball better (at the end of the season) and got great pitching all season. It was a positive end to the season. “
Those accomplishments were the positive, but there will be some negatives coach Ford will have to attend to before next spring. Tops on that in enviable list is replacing the eight seniors who will graduate this June. Josh Foster, Tony Koch, J.D. Diana, Sean Stewart, Miller, Hartman, Testa and Savko make up that great eight who will no longer be wearing the Fitch colors. Ford realizes his hands will be tied.
“We have a bunch of two and three year starters leaving,” Ford said sadly. “It will be tough (to replace them).”
At least Ford had a pair of underclass players take a prominent role in 2010 in Jake Eynon and Dan Spiker. That duo will be needed to become even better and do a little more next year to give the Falcons a boost in their final season in the Federal League.