BY BRIAN DAVIS
The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats picked up their second 13th District win of the season with a 14-4 six inning victory over the Todd County Central Rebels in Elkton last Tuesday night.
The winning pitcher was senior Jacob Adams. He pitched three innings allowing four runs on four hits with six strikeouts and walked three batters.
"We hit the ball a little bit tonight. We had big nights from Dawson Owens and Chase Wilson and good quality at bats from Preston Strode," Wildcats' head coach Kyle Gammons said. "Some of our main guys didn't hit it well tonight but it was good to see others step up and pick up the slack. Good to see those guys swing it tonight."
The losing pitcher was freshman Tanner Farmer. He pitched 3.2 innings allowing eight runs on six hits while walking four batters and striking out three.
For Franklin-Simpson in top of the 1st inning, sophomore Dawson Owens hit a RBI single that scored senior Jacob Curtis for a 1-0 lead. Following a single by senior Zach Sliger, junior Cam Pedigo reached on a fielding error that scored Owens, making the score 2-0. With runners at first and third, senior Preston Strode lined out but the throw to get Pedigo at first was a throwing error, allowing Sliger to score from third for a 3-0 lead.
"I was really confident tonight," Owens said. "My hits were in the gaps and hyst felt good at the plate. It's all about momentum. I felt good at Myrtle Beach and my goal is to keep it going. Whenever we had people on base, we need to bring them home to build up a lead for our pitching and defense."
The Wildcats added more runs in the top of the 3rd. With bases loaded and two outs, freshman Chase Wilson delivered a two RBI double down the left field line that scored Owens and Sliger for a 5-0 lead.
"It was a good night," Wilson said. "Defensively, I only had one ball come my way but came up with a big two out, two RBI hit. They came back and scored four runs but we were able to stay on top and get the district win tonight. We stay composed and got the bats going and took advantage of their mistakes."
The Rebels responded in the bottom half of the inning as with bases loaded and no outs, they earned three consecutive RBI singles from junior Bryce Nolan, senior Clayte Weathers and Farmer, who scored sophomore Ethan Bicksler, eighth-grader Gavyn Nolan and junior Austin Rager making the score 5-3. With two outs, an infield RBI single by sophomore Jameson Hunt, which scored Nolan and put Todd County Central within a run at 5-4.
"The inning was a little frustrating. I tell the guys that at this time right now, we can't walk guys with a five run lead or with any lead," Gammons said. "Walking the eight and nine hitters in the lineup puts you in a hole. They scrapped four or five hits and one of them was solid and the rest didn't leave the infield and that stuff happens when you walk hitters. We got to eliminate that and we have had trouble with that outside of Cole (Heinze) and Dalton (Fiveash). A lot of our pitchers are new to the varsity level and it is taking them a little bit to get going but if we eliminate that, we will be ok but it can be frustrating at times."
Any momentum gained by the Rebels, Franklin-Simpson quickly extinguished the drive. In the top of the 4th, sophomore Dalton Fiveash led off with walk and stole second as with one out, Owens hit a RBI single that scored Fiveash that extended their lead to 6-4. With two outs and runners at first and second, Strode hit a RBI double that scored Owens making the score 7-4. Wilson reached base on a fielding error that scored Pedigo for an 8-4 lead.
In the top of the of the 5th with one out and runners at second and third, Owens hit a two RBI double that scored Fiveash and Curtis for a 10-4 lead. Sliger followed up with a RBI double that scored senior Cole Heinze, pinch runner for Owens, making the score 11-4. Pedigo reached base on a throwing error that allowed Preston Jenkins, who was a pinch runner for Sliger, to score for a 12-4 lead. Wilson hit a RBI ground out that scored Pedigo that made the score 13-4.
In the top of the 6th with bases loaded once again and one out, Strode hit a deep RBI sacrifice fly that scored Curtis for a 14-4 lead.
Sophomore Cole Wix came in the 4th inning and pitched three scoreless innings that closed the game out for the 14-4 victory for the Wildcats.
"These kind of games can get you," Gammons said. "All of a sudden, it becomes tight but it was good to see our guys respond back with runs in the next three innings and pit it out of reach. This group likes to compete and that is something the guys have done well. We may not be the best or the most talented in a lot of things but they keep playing and that is going to serve us well at the end of the season."
Franklin-Simpson's next 13th District game will be at the Russellville Panthers. The game is a varsity game only beginning at 5:30 p.m.
F-S 302 351 14 11 2
TCC 004 000 4 6 6
WP- Adams 3 IP 4 R 4 H 6 K 3 BB
LP- Farmer 3.2 IP 8 R 6 H 3 K 4 BB