By PAUL GOTHAM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Fairport baseball team stepped on its own field for the first time this season when they hosted Victor on Wednesday. The Red Raiders looked comfortable in the friendly confines.
Jake Schuler hurled six shutout innings and did work with the bat as Fairport defeated Victor, 6-0 in Monroe County League Division 1 action.
Schuler struck out five, walked none and scattered five hits as Fairport improved to 7-2 with its third straight win and second in a row over Victor.
“Victor has a lot of guys who can hit a fastball, and they can hit the fastball hard,” Fairport coach Brian Reed said. “That’s a good team. Jake knew that he had to keep them off balance, and he had to keep mixing it up. He did a great job of doing that, throwing curveballs in fastball counts. Mixing it up and not letting them anticipate what was coming.”
The junior right-hander retired six of the first seven he faced before surrendering a leadoff double to Jarod Signorelli in the third. Two outs later, Santino Rossi fouled a pitch off his foot and had to be removed from the game. After a brief delay, Schuler gave up a first-pitch base hit to pinch hitter Nate Hampson. With runners on the corners, Schuler got a weak infield pop up to end the inning.
“I just had to keep my composure,” Schuler said. “I knew I had eight other guys on the field who had my back. They’re awesome. They really did a great job.”
He set down 10 of the last 12 he faced not allowing a runner past second.
“That’s the kind of kid he is,” Reed said. “He is just an absolute fierce competitor. He doesn’t want anybody to get the best of him.”
Schuler and Tyler Smith staked Fairport to a 2-0 lead in the first. Mike Sabatine and Omar Rosa led with back-to-back singles. Evan Newkirk walked, and Schuler brought home the first run with a ground ball to the right side of the infield. Smith plated Rosa with an infield hit, and the Red Raiders had all the runs they needed for the win.
Rosa highlighted a three-run second as the Red Raiders took a commanding lead. Brian O’Connor started the stanza with an infield single. Andrew Wallman walked, and Rick Lipinski loaded the bases with a base hit to the right side of a drawn infield.
Sabatine drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, and Rosa singled inside the third-base bag scoring Wallman. Lipinski crossed the plate when Schuler reached on an error.
Schuler punctuated the win when he connected on an 0-2 count for a leadoff solo shot in the fifth.
“I saw two fastballs pretty high,” Schuler explained. “Probably shouldn’t have swung at them. One right down the middle and I got a good piece of it. It was right on the barrel.”
He finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI.
“Jake had a day today,” Reed stated. “Six shutout innings, a home run, doing little things on the base paths moving runners.”
Rosa finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Sabatine was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Smith chipped in going 2-for 3 with a double and an RBI.
Jackson Sullivan pitched a scoreless inning in relief for Fairport.
Hampson led Victor going 2-for-2 with a double.
Brandon Meeks tossed two shutout innings for Victor.
Fairport plays at Webster Schroeder on Friday. The Red Raiders return home next Monday.
“It’s been soaked,” Reed said of the field. “We couldn’t get on it. We haven’t practice on it; we haven’t done anything on it. Today was the first time we walked on it as a team this season.”