Franklin rallies late to claim big win over Huntington

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 5, 2005

FERRIDAY, La. &045; In a showdown between the top two teams in District 7-A Tuesday night, Franklin Academy couldn’t get much of anything done for three innings.

But all it took to change that was a simple correction. Just hit the ball on the ground.

Franklin (12-3, 5-0) changed its hitting pattern and got six runs in the final four innings to take a 6-4 win over Huntington (10-5, 4-1) and take control of the District 7-A race.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;We had way too many pop-ups in the first few innings,&uot; Franklin Academy head coach Ryan Ellington said. &uot;We started putting the ball on the ground, got some timely hits and opened it up from there.

&uot;I thought (the district race) would come down to us and them. We have one more game against them, and it’s going to be a tough one. They’re a good ball club.&uot;

Huntington head coach Mitch Ashmore said Franklin simply played better than his club.

&uot;All I have to say is they’re better than we are,&uot; Ashmore said. &uot;We played like a second-place team, which is what we are right now.&uot;

&uot;We made some mistakes and didn’t get to some balls and you have to do that in big games. We’re never going to go out and dominate with our bats. We have to win with pitching and defense.&uot;

Huntington’s usually strong defense wasn’t on display Tuesday night. Jacob Bonnette and Trey Brashier combined to pitch a strong game for Huntington, but the defense let the pitching down.

&uot;We didn’t do much well tonight. We pitched well,&uot; Ashmore said. &uot;Jacob pitched a real strong game for us. Everything else we didn’t do well. One thing we stress is playing defense. Tonight we weren’t able to do that.&uot;

Errors, including two in the sixth inning that led to the go-ahead run for Franklin, proved costly for the Hounds.

In the first four innings, six Cougars flew out as Franklin managed just one run. But when the Cougars started putting the ball on the ground, good things happened. Justin Castillo led off the fourth with a walk, and Cyler Martin knocked a single to left field.

John Armstrong’s hard grounder up the middle knocked both in and Armstrong was later brought home on Myles Stevens’ lined shot up the middle, tying the game at 4-4.

Castillo reached base again in the sixth on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a ground ball out by Caleb Haring to give the Cougars the lead for good.

Huntington had plenty of luck getting some timely hitting in the first two innings. Ples Arthur singled home Chad Thomas with two outs in the first. Consecutive run-scoring doubles by Richard Steele and Bonnette, which scored Mike Ferguson and Steele, respectively, also came with two outs in the second inning.

&uot;Early in the game we got some two-out hits that helped us score some runs,&uot; Ashmore said.

Ellington also said the Hounds did well on getting hits when they needed them.

&uot;They had some timely hits with two outs and it got them a lead in the early innings,&uot; Ellington said.