Due to various vacations and injuries, Fairmont’s Post 17 American Legion team was left with a skeleton team to face Preston Tuesday.

Post 17 didn’t even have its manager.

But none of that mattered as assistant coach Jason Kamlowsky assembled a nine-man squad, including late addition James Mascaro, that rallied from an early deficit to defeat Preston, 12-8.

“When you have only nine kids show up, some of them are going to be playing out of position,” Kamlowsky said. “But everyone battled. The defense was solid tonight, and when you have someone up there throwing strikes like Bradley (Dodrill), that’s a good thing.”

Phil Harr started the game for Fairmont, but had control problems early. He was pulled after walking the first two batters in the third inning, giving him eight for the game. But when he did throw strikes, he was practically unhittable. He struck out six batters in his two-plus innings of work and only allowed two hits.

But even with limiting Post 56 to a pair of hits, Fairmont found itself down 4-0 after the top of the first.

“Phil worked hard. He just wasn’t spotting his fastball very well,” Kamlowsky said. “I mean he struck out six batters in two innings, but those walks came back to bite him.”

Brett Costello cut Preston’s lead in half with one swing in the bottom of the first — a two-run home run that scored Joey Buonaiuto who led off with a single.

Jacob Hawkins scored on a passed ball in the second to get Fairmont within one, 4-3.

After Preston scored three runs in the third inning to take a 7-3 lead, Fairmont plated four runs of its own to tie the game at 7-all heading into the fifth inning.

Buonaiuto led off with a single, and Costello walked to put two on base for Dodrill who drove them in with a double. Dodrill then came around to score on another passed ball, Joey Potesta singled and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Hawkins.

“It’s hard to get everyone one through nine to hit, but I think all of our kids had at least one hit tonight,” Kamlowsky said. “A lot of times when you get down early like that, the kids tend to get their heads down. But I was real pleased with the way we battled tonight. That’s what we’ve been telling them — as long as they give their best effort, we’re happy.”

Fairmont added two runs in the fifth on an RBI double by Costello and a RBI single by Joey Potesta. Costello had another RBI single in the sixth to score Adam Leonard, and Potesta and Mascaro had RBI singles in the eight to produce the final total.

Dodrill picked up the win in relief of Harr. He went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked four.

“We knew Bradley was going to throw strikes,” Kamlowsky said. “They scored the majority of their runs off walks. He went in and threw strikes, and the defense made plays behind him.”

Fairmont (7-9) will be back in action at East Fairmont High School today when it hosts Elkins at 5:30 p.m.

E-mail Mike Bowen at mbowen@timeswv.com.

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