The only thing that slowed Fayetteville Tuesday was a first-inning rain delay as the Pirates downed Big Creek 13-3 in five innings at Flying Eagle Field in Beckley.

The win propels Fayetteville into the Class A Region 3 championship, where they will face Charleston Catholic at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Oak Hill.

While Fayetteville scored 13 runs, only four of them were earned as the Owls were plagued by errors, eight in all, in the contest.

“We just made too many mistakes in the field,” Owls coach Jim Redmond said. “I thought we hit the ball decent but we just made too many mistakes.”

Big Creek got on the scoreboard first. With two out, Shannon Brown singled to left center, stole second base and raced home on a Mike Underwood single.

It only took one batter for Fayetteville to tie the score. Nich Carte beat out an infield hit and advanced to third on two straight passed balls. Carte raced home as Owls’ catcher Cody Johnson’s throw to third sailed into left field.

With the score tied 1-1, rain and lightning forced a 53-minute delay.

“I think it kinda delayed what we had set out to accomplish,” Pirates coach Richie Spearen said. “We just wanted to hit the ball well and perform on the field. The rain delay set us back. It took us a while to get going but we finally got in the groove hitting the ball.”

After play resumed, Danny Farrell drew a walk. He was moved over to second on a K.C. Dempsey groundout, before stealing third. Farrell then raced home on a bad throw in the dirt to put the Pirates up 2-1.

Big Creek would tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the second inning but Fayetteville answered with four run in the bottom of the frame.

The Pirates broke the game wide open in the third with five more runs.

“I told them, ‘you only get so many pitches’ and ‘keep swinging at anything close,’” Spearen said.

Brandon Holliday led Fayetteville at the plate, hitting two doubles, knocking in a run and scoring one.

“He’s been making good contact all year long,” Spearen said.

Farrell also went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs and Hunter Krise scored three times for the Pirates.

On the mound, Troy Hopkins held the Owls to three runs on five hits, while striking out six.

“He’s a young pitcher,” Spearen said. “Troy has stepped it up all year long and we’re real proud of him. Any position we ask him to play, he’s there. He plays it and he plays it the best he can.”

Brown led Big Creek (9-9) at the plate, going 2-for-3, as the Owls finish the season at .500.

“It was a lot better year than last year, I thought,” Redmond said. “The guys were more enthusiastic. They played the game right. We were always hustling on and off the field.”

— E-mail:

Fayetteville 13, Big Creek 3

BC: 111 00 — 3 5 8

F: 245 2x — 13 9 2

BC: Shannon Brown and Cody Johnson, F: Troy Hopkins and Vernon Farrell. WP — Hopkins. LP — Brown. Hitting — BC: Shannon Brown 2-3 (run, 2 sb), Mike Underwood (rbi, sb), Brian Patterson (run), Eman Foster (run), F: Brandon Holliday 2-3 (2 2b, rbi, run), Danny Farrell 2-3 (2b, rbi, 2 runs, sb), K.C. Dempsey (3b, rbi, 2 runs), Nich Carte (2 runs), Frank Bragg (run), Hunter Krise (rbi, 3 runs)

Records: BC: 9-9; F: 12-15.

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