Franklin County keeps season alive with win

Published 1:22 am Tuesday, May 4, 2010

BUDE — Colton Laird and Dehendret Collins set the tone for Franklin County as the Bulldogs kept their season alive with a big 10-2 win over the Forest Bearcats Monday afternoon in the first round of the Class 3A South State Playoffs.

Laird pitched a complete game, allowing just two runs on eight hits while striking out three and walking none. He pitched five straight scoreless innings before giving up back-to-back solo home runs in the top of the sixth inning.

“I thought Colton pitched really good tonight,” Franklin County head coach Brent Calcote said. “Seven innings, 68 pitches isn’t bad. Last Friday we walked 11 batters. Tonight we walked none. We didn’t give them free runners.”

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Even though Franklin County blew a 6-2 lead in the final three innings and lost to Forest 9-6 in Game 1 at Forest last Friday night, the Bulldogs had 11 hits in that game. On Monday afternoon, the Bulldogs continued its torrid hitting with 12 hits.

Collins, who went 3-for-3, got it started with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. Franklin County scored one run in the bottom of the second for a 3-0 lead and another run in the bottom of the fourth to put the Bulldogs on top 4-0.

Franklin County (15-10) brought in four more runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it an 8-0 game. But unlike last Friday, there would be no dramatic comeback by the Bearcats (18-10) in Game 2. The back-to-back home runs in the top of the sixth would be the only runs they would score off Laird.

“We hit the ball well. Colins hit the ball well. He had four RBIs. Austin McFarland hit the ball well for us. He had two RBIs,” Calcote said. McFarland was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and Hunter Hatcher was 2-for-4.

The Bulldogs got those two runs back in the bottom of the sixth and Laird pitched a scoreless top of the seventh to end the game.

The third and deciding game of this first-round series will take place today at Forest at 6:30 p.m.

“If we can throw strikes, we’ve got a chance,” Calcote said. “I was proud of them tonight.”