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Seahawks face Chipley Friday in regional opener

A blazing season-ending finish, highlighted by a victory
over Port St. Joe, put the Franklin County Seahawks in the playoffs for the
first time in history.

Hosting Godby April 19, the Seahawks got a 17-6 win.

“This is a game where we were looking to get some momentum
going, being the last week of the regular season,” said coach Kevin Cox. “This
game we did exactly that. We scored some runs early and that allowed me to
actually get some of the younger players into the game.”

Sophomore Evan Stanley pitched three innings, giving up just
one run. At the plate freshman Cody Abercrombie was 2 for 3 with a pair of
triples and four runs batted in. Juniors Blakely Curry and Garrison Cook each
had two hits. Freshman Logan Bentley had a hit and drove in a run. Freshman
Alex Sterling had his first action on the mound and struck out two.

On April 20 at North Bay Haven, the Seahawks continued to
win, with a 12-1 victory, on the road against a solid team.

Cody Abercrombie got the start and pitched outstanding,
despite three stitches in his left eye after a collision with Stanley on a fly
ball at the end of the Godby game. Abercrombie pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing
only one run on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

The game was tight for five innings, as it was 1-1 going
into the top of the fifth, and then the Seahawk bats came alive.

“The great thing about the fifth inning was that the rally
was started by freshman Chase Millender with a double down the left field line,”
said Cox. “To get a spark like that from the bottom of the lineup is huge. He
started it, then the top of lineup continued it, and the hitting became

The Seahawks broke the game open with a six-run inning, and
added five more in the seventh to make things comfortable. Junior Will Varnes
had two hits and three runs batted in, Cody Abercrombie two hits and two runs
batted, Cook three hits an RBI, and Millender and sophomore Wyatt Abercrombie
both two hits and two runs batted in, Sophomore Chase Crum and sophomore Jordan
Olson each had two hits and and one RBI..

An April 22 game at Munroe led to a tough 3-2 loss to snap
the winning streak.

“This was a game we just could not get the bats going,” said
Cox. “Swung them okay but everything we hit was just right at them. Munroe
pitched well and made a few plays on us, and our pitching was not as good as it
normally is and we gave up a couple runs early that they really didn’t have to
earn. In the end it cost us.

“I loved the way we battled, even though we were not at our
best,” said the coach. “We actually outhit Munroe 5-4.”

On April 27 at Port St. Joe, in the district semifinal,
everything was on the line, most importantly a playoff berth.

Cody Abercrombie shined in all areas. On the mound he
pitched 5 1/3 inning, giving up just two hits and one run, walking three and
striking out six.

“The game started and we didn’t execute on a pickoff and ultimately
allowed St. Joe to get one run in the first,” said Cox. “However we avoided
disaster as Abercrombie struck out two in the inning to get out of a bases-loaded
jam. “

The Seahawks then played solid on defense, and got on the
board in the second when Curry singled to start it off and stole second one
batter later. He then scored on a single to left by Wyatt Abercrombie.

It stayed knotted at 1-all until the bottom of the sixth,
despite the Seahawks having chances to score in the third and the fifth. “We
had runners at third with one out but just could not push them across,” said Cox.

In the sixth Franklin County got out of a huge jam, when the
Tiger Sharks had runners at first and third with one out. After a change at
pitcher, Crum got the batter to fly out to short left and Cody Abercrombie made
a diving play that kept the runners where they were. Crum then got the next
batter to fly out to left as well.

The Seahawks broke through in the bottom of the sixth. Cook walked
to start the inning followed by a single by Wyatt Abercrombie. Millender sacrificed
bunted to advance the runners to second and third. Stanley walked and then
junior Wil Varnes cracked an infield single to give Franklin County its first
lead of the game. Crum then had a fielder’s choice RBI for a 3-1 lead, and Cody
Abercrombie then smacked a two-out single that scored two runs and a 5-1 lkead.

The last inning got scary after Crum got the first batter to
fly out to center. St. Joe was able to score three runs and had the tying run
at second with one out. Stanley came in to pitch and delivered the last two outs.
He got the first batter he faced on a swinging strikeout and got the next
batter to ground out to first.

“Just super proud of the whole team as everyone contributed
in some sort of way,” said Cox.

Varnes lead the way at the plate with four hits and a run
batted in. Cody Abercrombie had two hits and two runs batted in. Wyatt
Abercrombie had two hits and one run batted in Millender, Curry and Cook each
had a hit.

“The job Chase Millender did behind the plate was huge as St.
Joe has a lot of speed,” said Cox. “Just can’t say enough about this team, as
young as they are, and to be the first baseball team in Franklin County School
history to make the playoffs just makes me super proud. The crowd at the game
was electric and our fans were out in full force and loud, just as they have
been all year. I cannot thank them enough, along with the support the community
has given this team. It’s a great time to be a Seahawk.

In the district championship April 29, Bozeman won 14-0.

“This was a game we played well for about two innings, making
good contact versus one of the best pitchers in the area. Bozeman is and has
always been one of the best two or three teams in the area. If you don’t play
your best for seven innings, they will beat you. We lost our composure somewhat
in the third inning and that was pretty much game over,” said Cox.

“We just have to put this behind us and realize we achieved
our goal coming into this tournament which was to get in the playoffs,” he
said. “Now a whole new season begins. We will face Chipley this Friday night at
7 p.m. in Chipley. I like our chances. even though Chipley is ranked third in
the state. We play our best and we will have a chance to win and that is all
you can ask. “

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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