BY BRIAN DAVIS
The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats had a tough week of baseball. They faced three teams from the 4th Region, one of them was a district game and the other two were teams from the 14th (Warren East), 15th District (Glasgow) and the 3rd Region (Owensboro).
They split their four games this week, but could have easily finished the week with four wins as they suffered two more losses decided by one run. As coaching staff has told the team, these games are to get them ready for postseason play. Learn and improve from each game played as the schedule was set up to get this young team ready for postseason play, which is about one month away.
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The winning pitcher was junior Brock Hastings. He pitched six innings allowing two runs on three hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
"I was hitting my locations very well especially the outside corner. Tried to pull off and got some rollovers and trusted my defense to make plays and they did," Hastings said. "I wanted the complete game really bad, but I got a little tired at the end but you got to fight through that. Glad to be out here, got the win and hope to get some more starts in the future."
The losing pitcher was senior Dylan Hunt. He was pulled in the 1st-inning as he did not record an out allowing five runs on four hits.
In the bottom of the 1st inning, the Wildcats sent 11 batters to the plate and took advantage with four consecutive singles that scored senior Cole Heinze for a 1-0 lead. A throwing error brought sophomore Dalton fiveash home, making the score 2-0. A wild pitch scored senior Zach Sliger from third giving them a 3-0 lead. With runners at first and second, freshman Chase Wilson hit a RBI single, which scored sophomore Dawson Owens making the score 4-0. With one out and bases still loaded, junior Trey Shanklin drew a RBI walk that scored junior Cam Pedigo for a 5-0 lead.
After that inning, Franklin-Simpson managed to get one hit for the remainder of the game, a single by senior Jacob Adams in the 6th inning.
"We got to be able to smell blood and get after it," Wildcats' head coach Kyle Gammons said. "We jumped out to a five run lead and the goal is to keep applying pressure and try to add another run and another and we had some chances later in the game to do that but we couldn't come up with that hit. We just have to do a better job of putting teams away when we have the opportunity to do so."
But good pitching and defense maintained throughout the game as Warren East rallied in the top of the 7th. With runners on first and second, sophomore Cameron Martin reached base on a fielding error that scored freshman Austin Comer that made the score 5-1. With two outs and runners at second and third, sophomore Wesley McChesney reached base on a second fielding error of the inning as sophomore Nolan Ford scored that cut their deficit down to 5-2. After Ford scored, Martin was tagged out at third in a rundown for the final out of the game as the Wildcats defeated the Raiders 5-2.
The winning pitcher was senior Corey Gibson. He pitched a complete game throwing all seven innings allowing four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and walked two batters.
The losing pitcher was senior Cole Heinze. He threw 5.1 innings allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and struck out seven batters.
In the top of the 3rd inning, freshman Chase Wilson reaches second base on an error and advances to third with a single from junior Trey Shanklin. Sophomore Dalton Fiveash's RBI sacrifice fly scored Wilson for an early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Red Devils tied the game at 1-1 with a RBI single by junior Nick Belcher that scored senior Eric Epperson. Hagan scored on a passed ball for a 2-1 lead. With two outs, junior Isaac Humphrey hit a RBI single that scored Belcher from third, making the score 3-1.
Franklin-Simpson tied the game in the top of the 4th as they took advantage of an Owensboro error. With two outs and Dawson Owens at third and senior Zach Sliger at second, Wilson again reached base on an error that scored both Wildcats, tying the game at 3-3.
Owensboro responded in bottom half of their inning as with two outs, junior Braxton French hit a RBI single that scored junior Weston Hayden, giving them a 4-3 lead.
Back came Franklin-Simpson on the top of the 5th as with bases loaded, Owens hits into a RBI double play that scored Heinze, making the score 4-4 for the third tie of the game.
The Red Devils took the lead once again in the bottom of the 6th as with one out, junior Kobe Coomes hits a single and advances to second. Hayden reached base on a fielding error that scored Coomes for a 5-4 lead.
The Wildcats had one last chance in the top of the 7th but left runners stranded at first and second as they dropped a 5=4 decision to the Red Devils.
The winning pitcher was junior Tucker Kirkpatrick. In relief, he pitched 1.2 innings allowing one hit and walked two batters. The losing pitcher was junior Brock Hastings. Also in relief, he pitched two-third of an inning allowing one run on two hits with one walk.
Franklin-Simpson took the early lead in the top of the 1st and 2nd innings. In
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the 1st with two outs, Dawson Owens hit a RBI single that scored Trey Shanklin for a 1-0 lead. They added two more runs in the 2nd as with bases loaded, Zach Sliger scored on an error followed by senior Preston Strode's RBI ground out that scored senior Hunter Crafton, making the score 3-0.
Glasgow tied the game with three swings of the bat in the bottom of the 2nd. With singles by senior Thad Dial and sophomore Tyler Lane, with one out, senior Ryan Jones hit a three run home run that tied the game at 3-3.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the top of the 3rd as with one out and runners at second and third, senior Jacob Curtis scored on a passed ball, making the score 4-3. With Owens at third, Crafton hit his second RBI ground out of the game, scoring Owens for a 5-3 lead.
The Scotties rallied and tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. With runners at first and third, senior Jaden Wells hit a RBI ground out that scored junior Jaden Franklin that cut their deficit down to 5-4. With one out, sophomore Cole Stephens brought home junior Nick Sorrell with a RBI single, tying the game at 5-5.
The game remained tied as both teams headed into extra innings as in the bottom of the 8th, Stephens led off with a double and sophomore Cole bunch came in as a pinch runner. Jones was intentionally walked and Kirkpatrick hit a single, making the bases loaded. Junior Tucker Abernathy ended the game with a RBI sacrifice fly that scored Bunch, handing the Wildcats another one run loss 6-5.
Franklin-Simpson hosts the Allen County-Scottsville Patriots from the 15th District, at 6 p.m. On Friday night at 6:30 p.m., they will host one of the premiere baseball teams from Tennessee when they play Clarksville (TN) Academy. They will close the week against the Owensboro Red Devils at noon on Saturday.
1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast Saturday's game at 11:45 a.m. The game will also be streamed on the internet by going to www.franklinfavorite.com and find the WFKN link in the blue toolbar. Click on the "WFKN Sports" tab and then press the play button.