OSKALOOSA — Things were looking good for the Oskaloosa baseball team against No. 8 Fairfield Tuesday night.
The Indians scored a run in the first inning and kept that lead for much of the game.
That is until the top of the seventh when the Trojans scored twice and held on for the 2-1 victory over the Indians.
"It was an excellent ball game," Oskaloosa coach Bill Almond said. "We just didn't execute and had a lot of empty outs out there with runners in scoring position. That's something we have to get better at. We put the ball in play and score a couple of extra runs."
Colton Butler's two-out single got Oskaloosa (18-9) going in the opening inning and reached second on a wild pitch. Rian Yates, one of three seniors honored on Senior Night, lined a single to right to score Butler, but was tagged out at first when he strayed away from the bag.
That appeared to be all the offense both teams mould muster on this night as Fairfield's Kosta Papazogolou and Oskaloosa's Noah Van Veldhuizen were locked in a pitcher's duel.
Then two hurlers combined for 21 strikeouts and allowed three hits until the seventh.
Van Veldhuizen faced a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, but got out of it by striking out two of the last three batters he faced in the inning.
He then had runners on second and third the next inning, and again he got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters.
Papazogolou retired seven straight batters from the third to fifth innings, but was hurt trying to steal second in the fifth inning.
After he walked, he attempted to steal second, which he did, but an Oskaloosa infielder landed on top of him and he was forced to leave the game.
Van Veldhuizen retired the next three batters to get out of the inning and Papazogolou came back to the mound in the seventh.
The Fairfield senior lost his control in the sixth as he hit Tyler Miller and walked Butler to begin the inning and Trojan coach Josh Allison decided it was time to take the starter out.
Yates sacrificed the runners to second and third but reliever Elan Ledger fanned Van Veldhuizen and senior Cole Kraber to end the inning.
That set up the decisive seventh inning for Fairfield.
Drew Martin opened the inning with a walk and Papazogolou singled to the right field corner as Martin went to second. Carter Ferrel singled home Martin to tie the game at 1 as Papazogolou scampered to third. He later scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Miller, who relieved Van Veldhuizen in the sixth.
Senior Nik Dykstra walked with two outs in the seventh and Wyatt Krier blooped an infield single to put runners on first and second. But Ledger got Miller to pop out to shortstop to end the game.
Papazogolou finished the game with 13 strikeouts and allowed one hit in 6 2/3 innings pitched. He also had two singles and scored the winning run.
Van Veldhuizen went the first five innings, gave up just two hits, walked three and fanned eight while Miller (3-2) suffered the loss after allowing the two runs on three hits in two innings of work. He issued two walks and struck out four.
Krier, Butler and Yates all had singles for the Indians with Butler scoring the run and Yates collecting the RBI.
The Indians hosted No. 7 Centerville Wednesday night then will face Pella Christian Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to complete a suspended game from July 3. Oskaloosa is third in the Little Hawkeye Conference at 13-6 while Dallas Center-Grimes is a game ahead at 14-5. The regularly scheduled game will start after the conclusion of the completion of the suspended game.