For the second time in three seasons under head coach Kyle Gammons, the Franklin-Simpson Wildcats' baseball team won the 13th District Baseball Tournament at Logan County High School last week.
The Wildcats also became one of eight teams to compete in the 4th Region Baseball Tournament that was played at Nick Denes Field on the campus of Western Kentucky University.
13th District Championship Game
Logan County 4
The winning pitcher was sophomore Dalton Fiveash. He pitched four innings allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
"I like pitching in big games and I was just trying to be the best I can be and see what happens," Dalton Fiveash said. "Our bats came alive and I was able to pitch with some confidence and gave the team a lot of momentum."
The losing pitcher was senior Parker White. In relief of starting pitcher Dylan Penick, he pitched an inning allowing two runs on three hits.
The Wildcats put up three runs in the top of the 2nd inning with only one hit. With bases loaded and one out, senior Preston Strode was hit a pitch that scored sophomore Brok Hastings from third for a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch scored senior Zach Sliger from third, making the score 2-0. With runners at second and third, a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by senior Cole Heinze allowed senior Hunter Crafton to score for a 3-0 lead.
Franklin-Simpson added Senior Jacob Curtis hit solo home run to left field for a 4-0 lead.
With one out and runners at second and third, Sliger hit a RBI single to left that scored junior Cam Pedigo, making the score 5-0.
The Cougars rallied in the bottom of the 3rd as Parker White hit a solo home run to left center field that cut their deficit down to 5-1. With two outs and junior Braxton Meguiar at second, senior Koby Wall hit an opposite field RBI double that scored Meguiar, making the score 5-2.
The Wildcats got a run back in the top of the 4th as with runners at first and third, Curtis hit a deep RBI sacrifice fly to center that scored Heinze, making the score 6-2.
Logan County responded in the bottom of the 4th as with bases loaded and one out, senior Nate Woodall hit a RBI sacrifice fly to center field that scored senior Dylan Penick that cut their deficit down to three at 6-3. The Cougars had an opportunity with runners at second and third and two outs as Meguiar singled up the middle but Strode made a perfect throw to Hastings at the plate and tagged out Zach Yates to preserve the three run lead.
Franklin-Simpson's bat remained hot as they broke the game open in the top of the 5th. With one out and Owens at third, Sliger reached base on a fielder's choice as Owens beat the throw home for a 7-3 lead. With Sliger at second, the score became 8-3 as Crafton hit a RBI single down the right field line, scoring Owens.
With runners at second and third because of Strode's double, Heinze hit an opposite field three run home run to right field, making the score 11-3 for his first home run of his high school career.
Heinze entered the game in the bottom of the 5th and pitched three innings allowing one run on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts. The Cougars got a run in the bottom of the 7th as with one out, Wall hit a RBI double to the corner of left field that scored Meguiar that made the score 11-4. But the lead was too large to overcome as Heinze got the final out of the game with a strikeout as Franklin-Simpson became the 13th District Tournament Champions with an 11-4 victory over Logan County.
"Our bats showed up in the biggest game of the season and hopefully this same hitting team that we will see in the region tournament," Wildcats head coach Kyle Gammons said. We talked a lot heading into the tournament about our at bats and the guys stepped up huge tonight. Lots of production up and down through the lineup and not much bigger than the opposite field home run by Cole (Heinze). This was like a boxing match as we delivered blows,they hit some back and we were able to get the knockout blow with the three run home run. It's a really exciting win and I feel like that this was the toughest season we have had in a while so I am proud of the guys for grinding and for just keep believing and keep on fighting."
Heinze entered the game in the bottom of the 5th and pitched three innings allowing one run on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts. His last strikeout was the final out of the game for the district championship as the Wildcats became the 2019 13th District Tournament Champions with an 11-4 victory over Logan County.
Todd County Central 1
The Wildcats earned their spot in the 4th Region Baseball Tournament with an 11-1 five inning victory over the Todd County Central Rebels.
The winning pitcher was Brock Hastings. He pitched his first complete game of the season by throwing five innings allowing one run on five hits with eight strikeouts.
"I just wanted to pitch to the best that I could for my team and it really helped when the bats get going," Brock Hastings said. "I was finally able to get my first complete game and the offense helped that out a lot with the run rule."
The losing pitcher was junior Austin Rager. He pitched three innings allowing eight runs on five hits with a strikeout and walked four batters.
Franklin-Simpson scored three runs in the bottom of the 1st as with bases loaded, Hastings drew a RBI walk that scored Dalton Fiveash for a 1-0 lead. Dawson Owens followed with a RBI double to center field that scored Cam Pedigo and Hunter Crafton for a 3-0 lead.
Todd County Central scored a run in the top of the 3rd. After Hastings picked off sophomore Ethan Bicksler at second for the first out of the inning, Rager hit a RBi double that scored eighth grader Gavyn Nolan, making the score 3-1.
The Wildcats answered back in the bottom half of the inning. Following Pedigo's double, Hunter Crafton hit a RBI single, scoring Pedigo for a three run lead at 4-1. Crafton went to second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on a fielding error, making the score 5-1. Later in the inning with junior Logan Ford in the game as a courtesy runner for Hastings, Preston Strode hit a RBI single that scored Ford for a 6-1 lead.
In the bottom of the 4th, Franklin-Simpson put the game out of reach for the Rebels. With runners at second and third, Jacob Curtis hit a RBI sacrifice fly that scored Cole Heinze, making the score 7-1. With bases loaded, Hastings drew his second RBI walk of the game that scored Fiveash for a 9-1 lead. Vases were still loaded with Owens hitting a two RBI single that scored Zach Sliger and Crafton for a 10-1 lead. A passed ball occurred that scored Ford, who was a courtesy runner for Hastings, made the final score 11-1.
"Can't take any game for granted especially in the opening game of the district tournament and proud of the guys for going out there and doing what was needed to be done," Wildcats head coach Kyle Gammons said. "Anything can happen in postseason baseball. That was the message I was stressing to the guys before the game. You got to come out and play the game of baseball, no matter who the opponent is and we earned everything we got tonight. We did enough to get things going and got three runs early to take pressure off of Brock, who was making his first postseason start, and that helped us out a great deal."
Todd County Central ended their season with a district record of 2-5 and an overall record of 5-11.