Wildcats compete in Ripken Experience

Submitted by Kim Sliger

The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats' baseball team traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to compete in the Cal Ripken Experience.

The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats' baseball team made their annual trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to play in the Cal Ripken Experience during Spring Break.

The Wildcats make the trip to play five games, which began last Sunday against some of the best baseball teams in the state and country. They finished the week winning two out of five games, making their overall record to 7-7 for the season.

McDowell (PA) 13 | Franklin-Simpson 3

(six innings)

The winning pitcher was Nick Angelo. He pitched five innings allowing three runs on four hits with four strikeouts with four walks. The losing pitcher was Dawson Owens. He pitched 1.2 innings allowing three runs on four hits with three walks.

McDowell scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the 1st inning with Jackson Hower's RBI triple followed by Chris Juchno's RBI double with Ja'Juan Delgado's RBI single for a 3-0 lead.

Franklin-Simpson scored a run in the top of the 3rd as senior Cole Heinze scored on a balk by Angelo, cutting their deficit down to 3-1.

But the Trojans responded in the bottom half of the inning with three more runs with RBI singles from Juchno, Sam Crowley and Blake Simmers for a 6-1 lead.

With bases loaded in the bottom of the 4th, McDowell got a run with a RBI walk by Crowley, making the score 7-1.

The Wildcats got two runs in the top of the 5th as senior Jacob Curtis hit a RBI double that scored sophomore Dalton Fiveash as they trailed 7-2. With two outs, junior Trey Shanklin hit a RBI single that scored Curtis, making the score 7-3.

McDowell scored six runs in the 5th and 6th innings. Juchno drove in another run with a RBI single that scored Luke Jackson for an 8-3 lead. The Trojans ended the game in the bottom of the 6th with five runs as Matt Shepard hit a RBI sacrifice fly that scored Crowley, making the score 9-3. Simmers made the score 10-3 with a RBI walk by Hower. Juchno hit a RBI single that scored Noah Timpano for an 11-3 lead. Garrett Brink reached base on a fielding error that scored Timpano and Hower that made the final score 13-3.

Pleasure Ridge Park 1 | Franklin-Simpson 0

The Wildcats and Panthers are no strangers to each other as they played each other in the 2017 KHSAA State Baseball tournament in Lexington and last season at Greg Shelton Field.

Both games were instant classics and this game was equal to their two previous meetings as the game was a pitcher's duel with the Panthers, who this season is the third ranked team in the state, coming away with the 1-0 victory.

Both senior starting pitchers Franklin-Simpson's' Cole Heinze and Pleasure Ridge Park's David Aguilar pitched complete game gems. Aguilar picked up the win by allowing in runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. Unfortunately, Heinze took the loss by allowing one run on two hits with five strikeouts and five walks.

The Wildcats had runners at first and second in the 2nd and 3rd innings but could not take advantage of their opportunities to score runs. The Panthers took advantage of their opportunity in the bottom of the 3rd as with two outs, senior Reed Blaszczyk hits a single and stretches the run to second. Senior Jarrett Troklus followed with a RBI single to right that scored Blaszczyk for a 1-0 lead.

Franklin-Simpson had runners once again at first and second in the 4th but could not score. That would be their final opportunity as Aguilar set them down in order in the final three innings for the 1-0 victory.

Franklin-Simpson 8 | Maumee (OH) 2

The Wildcats ended their four game losing streak with their first win during their five game excursion.

The winning pitcher was Dalton Fiveash. He pitched six innings allowing two runs on two hits with a walk. The losing pitcher was Matt Butler. He pitched four innings allowing eight runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

Franklin-Simpson scored a run in the of the 1st and 2nd innings as in the 1st, Heinze scored the first run of the game on a passed ball and Hastings scored on a throwing error as they led 2-0.

The Wildcats added four more runs in the 3rd as Curtis scored on a fielding error followed by Owens scoring on a RBI single by junior Cam Pedigo. Later in the inning, both Hastings and Pedigo scored on wild pitches as they extended their lead to 6-0.

In the 4th, Heinze scored his second run of the game on a RBI single by senior Hunter Crafton and Curtis scored on a RBI sacrifice fly by junior Brock Hastings, making the score 8-0.

The Panthers scored runs in the bottom of the 4th on a RBI ground out by Evan Barker that scored Michael Henry and in the 6th with a fielder's choice by Justin Key that scored Barker,

Freshman Preston Jenkins came in the 7th to close the game out for the 8-2 victory for the Wildcats.

Franklin-Simpson 8 | Monticelllo (VA) 7

(eight innings)

The winning pitcher was junior Logan Ford. In relief, he pitched two innings allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk. The losing pitcher was Dylan Zimmerman. Also in relief, he pitched 2.1 innings allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts with a walk.

The Wildcats got the first run of the game in the bottom of the 1st as with one out, Hastings reached base with a bases loaded RBI walk that scored Heinze for a 1-0 lead. Back to back wild pitches with runners in scoring position allowed Fiveash and Owens to score from third base, making the score 3-0.

In the bottom of the 3rd, Franklin-Simpson added another run as with one out, RBI triple by Owens that scored Curtis for a 4-0 lead. Another wild pitch by the Mustangs allowed Owens to score, making the score 5-0.

Monticello took advantage of Franklin-Simpson's errors in the top of the 5th as with bases loaded, Luke Ogden reached on a bases loaded RBI walk that scored James Watkins that cut their deficit down to 5-1. Sam Lewis reached base on a fielding error that scored Luke page, making the score 5-2. The Mustangs cut their deficit down to two as Ogden scored from third on a wild pitch, making the score 5-3. With two outs and runners and second and third, Zimmerman reached base on another fielding error that scored Lewis that put the Mustangs to within a run at 5-4.

With two outs in the bottom half of the 5th, Franklin-Simpson executed a hit and run play with Owens hitting a RBI single that scored Curtis from second that gave them some cushion with a 6-4 lead.

In the top of the 7th, the Mustangs took advantage of bases being loaded with a two RBI single from Grayson Bush that scored Cam Critzer and Zimmerman, tying the game at 6=6. With two outs, Page hits an infield single that Bush went from second all the way to home for the go ahead run as Monticello took their first lead of the game, 7-6.

The Wildcats put together a 7th inning rally with Owens hitting a single and advancing to second on the late throw. Hastings followed with an infield RBI single that scored Owens, tying the game at 7-7, sending it into extra innings.

Franklin-Simpson held Monticello scoreless in the top of the 8th, but closed the game out in the bottom half of the inning. With one out and runners on first and second on consecutive walks, Heinze hit a RBI single up the middle that scored freshman Chase Wilson to win the game, 8-7.

Boyd County 10 | Franklin-Simpson 4

The winning pitcher was Jonathan Stevens. He pitched a complete game by throwing all seven innings allowing four runs on two hits with six strikeouts with a walk.

The losing pitcher was Dawson Owens. He pitched 3.1 innings allowing six runs on four hits with a strikeout and two walks.

Both pitchers were good in the first three innings but in the top of the 4th, the Lions erupted for six runs. With one out, Brock McNeil hit a RBI single that scored Austin Watkins for a 1-0 lead. Later with bases loaded, Shade Hutchinson reached base on a RBI walk that scored Austin Mullins, making the score 2-0. Three consecutive hits followed with Dylan Robinette's RBI single, scoring McNeil, with Phillip Fryer's two RBI single that scored Jake Biggs and Hutchinson and B.B. Layne added a RBI single, scoring Robinette, for a 6-0 lead.

Boyd County added four more runs in the top of the 7th as with bases loaded, Hunter Morgan reached base with a RBI walk that scored Layne, making the score 7-0. McNeil cleared the bases with a three RBI triple that drove in Bryce Carley, Watkins and Mullins for a 10-0 lead.

Stevens was throwing a perfect game until the Wildcats responded and broke that up in the bottom half of the 7th. With runners at second and third, Fiveash hit an infield RBI single, scoring Heinze, which made the score 10-1. They added two more runs as Pedigo hit a RBI single that scored Crafton along with a throwing error allowed Fiveash to score as they trailed 10-3. But the rally ended with another ground out as the Wildcats end their five games in the Cal Ripken Experience with a 10-4 loss to the Lions.

The Wildcats return home on Saturday April 13 when they host the Warren east Raiders and the Elizabethtown Panthers in a trio of games played at Greg Shelton Field. The Wildcats and Raiders will play at 10 a.m. followed by the Raiders and the Panthers with the final game of the day featuring Franklin-Simpson and Elizabethtown, scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast both games featuring Franklin-Simpson starting at 9:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. The games 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.

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