Franklin County rolls to district championship

Published 12:05 am Monday, April 7, 2008

SUMMIT — The Franklin County Bulldogs collected their first district title in six years Saturday with a 8-2 win over rival North Pike. The win gave the Bulldogs the Region 7-3A championship, a crown they last wore in 2002.

“I’m happy and proud of my team,” Franklin County baseball coach Jeremy Loy said. “This is something we started the season working toward as one of our main goals. It’s been six years since we last won a district title. But now it’s over; we’re district champs.”

FCHS senior Blaine Abernathy turned the historic rivalry into his own personal playground, belting a game turning home run in Thursday’s 4-1 victory against North Pike at Bude, and pitching a 6-inning 1-hitter against the Jaguars Saturday night.

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“Blaine pitched a good game; he located well and threw strikes,” Loy said. “He really came up big for us these last two games.”

The Bulldogs (15-3, 10-0) used a flurry of mistakes by North Pike in the second inning to plate four runs and virtual control of the game. Jaguars’ pitcher Casey Paulk, who smoked through the first inning with an 89 mph fastball, could not regain his touch in the second frame, losing control and velocity that allowed the Bulldogs to jump to a quick 2-0 lead on wild pitches.

“Taking the lead early always helps,” Loy said. “Paulk had me worried in the first inning; he came out throwing hard. Our kids stayed patient and we recovered.”

North Pike could only muster two hits the entire ball game.

Cody Timmons broke up Abernathy’s no-hit bid in the sixth and Keiron Robinson doubled in the seventh.

The Jaguars only plated six hits in the series against the Bulldogs.

“We didn’t throw strikes, and we didn’t hit the baseball,” North Pike head coach George Lott said. “We can’t win when we do that.”

The Bulldogs resume play tonight playing host to Wilkinson County. On Tuesday the Bulldogs host Cathedral.