Back in 2014, eighth-grader Graham Kuehl made one plate appearance all season for the Trojans, getting an RBI single for the 30-8 baseball team that made the most recent trip in Fairfield history to the state tournament at Principal Park in Des Moines. Those Trojans lost 3-0 in the first round against Dallas Center-Grimes, who then defeated Sergeant Bluff-Lufton 2-1 before losing in the championship game 1-0 to Davenport Assumption.
If the Trojans can defeat the Spartans at Solon Wednesday night, Kuehl?s career will come full circle as he will start the quarterfinals on the mound as one of Fairfield?s senior leaders.
Fairfield and Solon have both played Williamsburg, Clear Creek-Amana, Washington, Keokuk and Iowa City Liberty with the Trojans going 13-2 against the five schools and the Spartans going 9-0.
The two schools have not played since the substate final in Solon on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 that the Spartans won 6-4. That is the only baseball matchup between the two schools in more than a decade.
Fairfield has gone 160-56 over the last six seasons with three consecutive substate final appearances and a state tournamet berth in 2014 after going 37-69 from 2010-2012. Solon has gone 152-89 over the last six seasons, making trips to the state tournament in 2014 and 2016. The Spartans went 16-25 in 2012 after going 80-6 during the 2010 and 2011 seasons and claiming back-to-back state titles.
Fairfield?s team batting average is .348 with 348 runs scored in 38 games for a 9.2 runs per game average. The Trojans OBP is .457 with the team hitting 71 doubles, eight triples and 28 homeruns for a slugging percentage of .514. The Trojans also struck out only 160 times in 1030 at-bats, meaning the team put the ball into play nearly 85 percent of the time.
Hunter Hoskins leads the team in runs (51), hits (54) and stolen bases (19), while Tristin Waugh leads doubles (14), RBI (53) and sacrifices (6). Austin Simpson has the most homeruns (10), walks drawn (27), highest OBP (.493) and slugging percentage (.685) but Kosta Papazoglou has the highest batting average (.446).
Solon (31-8) has a team batting average of .333 with 365 runs scored in 41 games for a 8.9 runs per game average. The Spartans OBP is .451 with the team hitting 85 doubles, 10 triples and 40 homeruns for a sluggling percentage of .536. With just 171 strikeouts in 1109 at-bats, Solon also put the ball into play nearly 85 percent of their plate appearances.
Senior Luke Ira leads Solon in runs (64), hits (63), homeruns (19), RBI (57), stolen bases (17), batting average (.453), OBP (.545) and slugging percentage (.993).
With Kuehl having pitched Monday, The Trojans have Jackson Weaton, 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA, James Lyman, 4-0 with a 4.16 ERA, Cade Lisk, 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA, Caden Jones, 4-2 with a 4.92 ERA and Brittan Bowman, 3-0 with a 5.67 ERA.
Ira is also one of the Spartans top pitchers with a 6-1 record in eight starts and a 1.73 earned run average with 85 strikeouts, 11 walks and an opponents batting average of .181. The Spartans also have Cam Miller who is 8-3 with a 1.20 ERA, Lucas Walker who is 6-1 with a 1.23 ERA and Tyler Linderbaum who is 5-0 with a 1.15 ERA.
The first team to score 10 runs is going to win a shootout that will likely produce 15+ runs.