The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats improve to 4-1 in 13th District play with a 13-3 five-inning victory over the Todd County Central Rebels. The Wildcats play their final game in the district against the Logan County Cougars with a shot at sharing the regular season 13th District Championship and possible number one seed in the 13th District Baseball tournament that is scheduled to begin on May 20 at Logan County High School.
The Rebels, who are 1-4 in the district and 2-7 overall for the season, can secure the number three seed in the upcoming 13th District Baseball tournament with a win this week over the Russellville Panthers, who are 0-5 in the district, in their final game of district play.
The winning pitcher was junior Hunter Crafton. He pitched four innings allowing one hit with seven strikeouts with four walks.
"I felt pretty good on the mound tonight," Hunter Crafton said. "My curve ball. I've been working on it a little bit and tonight, I finally got it going. Really glad that we were able to get this win tonight."
"Hunter (Crafton) threw a lot of first pitch strikes tonight. Fastball strikes and the curve was working well. He did a good job and that will earn him some more innings to pitch this season," Wildcats head coach Kyle Gammons said. "We brought Preston (Strode) in the 5th as he got a little tired. He threw some in our loss to Station Camp and this was the most he has thrown this season and he fatigued out. Preston hasn't pitched in a while so he was a little rusty. he walked a couple of batters off the bat followed by a hot that got some runs that extended the game but that gave our young players to have a chance to get some more varsity playing time and it all worked out for us tonight."
The losing pitcher was senior Clayte Weathers. He threw a complete game going four innings allowing 11 runs on seven hits with a strikeout and walked five batters.
Franklin-Simpson batted around in the lineup as they sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 1st inning. With sophomore Dalton Fiveash at first senior Jacob Curtis hit a two run home run to left field, his sixth of the season, for the early 2-0 lead.
"The home run felt good," Jacob Curtis said. "I was just trying to stay up the middle. I was pulling off pretty bad. The coaches said for me to keep my hands inside the ball and I did my best with that and I connected with it over the left field wall."
With runners at first and third and one out, sophomore Cam Pedigo hit a RBI single that scored senior Zach Sliger and with a fielding error on the play, sophomore Dawson Owens was able to score, making the score 4-0. With runners now at second and third, junior Brock Hastings reached base on a fielding error that scored Pedigo for a 5-0 lead. The Rebels committed a third fielding error that allowed Strode to score from third, making the score 6-0. With the bases loaded and two outs, Curtis drove in his third run of the game with a RBI single, scoring senior Jacob Adams for a 7-0 lead. A wild pitch allowed senior Cole Heinze to score from third,making the score 8-0. Sliger hit a two RBI single that scored Fiveash and Curtis for a 10-0 lead.
The Rebels got on the scoreboard in the top of the 5th as with one out and runners at second and third, Weathers hit a two RBI single down the right field line that scored eighth grader Gavyn Nolan and junior Austin Rager, making the score 10-2. Freshman Tanner Farmer grounded out for the second out and with a throwing error to third, Weathers scored a run on the play that cut their deficit down to 10-3.
In the bottom of the 5th, with runners on first and second, a pair of wild pitches moved the runners and allowed freshman Ben Banton to score for an 11-3 lead. A double steal with runners on first and third allowed freshman Chase Wilson to score, making the score 12-3. With bases loaded, Owens drew a RBI walk that scored freshman Luke Richardson to make the final score 13-3.
"There's always something to learn and do especially in the 10 or 15 run ruled games," Gammons said. "We talk about not wasting an at bat because it is important for the younger players for development and for the starting guys to stay in a rhythm. Can't take that or anything for granted in this game. No matter the score, just keep playing the game of baseball. Our guys stayed focus enough to bounce back, after not scoring any runs after putting up 10 in the 1st, to make this a five inning short game tonight."
The Wildcats host the Bowling Green Purples at Greg Shelton Field on May 13 with first pitch scheduled for 7:30 p.m. 1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast the game about 15 minutes before first pitch and will be streamed on the internet by going to www.franklinfavorite.com and click on the WFKN Link. Then click on the WFKN Sports tab and press the play button.
TCC 000 03 3 2 2
F-S 10 00 03 13 9 1
WP- Crafton 4 IP 1 H 7 K 4 BB
LP- Weathers 4 IP 11 R 7 H 1 K 5 BB