After opening last week with a one-hit shutout of St. John Paul II at home, the Seahawks varsity baseball team closed out with a hard-fought win against playoff rival Cottondale.
In the April 3 10-0 win against St. John Paul, the Panthers served up a tough pitcher, hurling in the mid-80 range, but senior Dane Mallon was up to the challenge, as he hurled a six-inning one-hitter, striking out six, walking four and giving up no earned runs.
“He competed very well on the mound, even on a night where he didn’t quite have his best stuff,” said coach Kevin Cox.
Franklin County opened with a run in the bottom of the first, added another in the third, and then broke the game wide open with three runs in the fourth and five in the sixth.
In the sixth the Seahawks were lead by a single by junior Logan Bentley, a sacrifice fly by senior Evan Stanley, a groundout by senior Mason Moses, and an error on a ball put in play by senior Wyatt Abercrombie.
Junior Logan Bentley’s two-run triple in the fourth was the most exciting of his two hits, as he drove in five runs in the game.
“I like the approaches we took at the plate. Pushed a run across early and that was good, but also left a few out there,” said Cox.
Senior Chase Crum, and juniors Will Luberto and Cody Abercrombie each had a hit, and Moses drove in a run.
On April 5 in Tallahassee, the Seahawks endured a one-hit 11-1 loss to Florida High, with Stanley’s single to drive in a run in the top of the first the only spark of the game.
“It’s a game you just want to forget,” said Cox. “We didn’t hit well enough, didn’t glove it well enough and didn’t catch any breaks.Just forget about it and move on to the next game.”
At Cottondale Friday night, Franklin County edged the Hornets 7-5 in a game between two teams competing to make the playoffs.
The game was a pitchers’ duel between junior Cody Abercrombie and Florida State University commit Cam Odom, with the two hurlers dominant for five innings.
“Good for us was that Cody was more efficient with his pitches,” said Cox. “What I was proud of with us was we were patient at the plate, making their pitcher throw more pitches. Even though we were not scoring we were having some good at-bats. The patience paid off as he hit his limit in the sixth and had to be pulled.”
In the sixth inning, Franklin County scored four runs on three hits, by Stanley, Bentley and Wyatt Abercrombie, and a sacrifice fly by Luberto.
Cottondale battled back in the bottom of the inning to get two runs but the Seahawks added three more in the top of the seventh.
“We needed all them runs because as a tough team they had tying runs on base in the bottom of the seventh,” said Cox. “Stanley came in the seventh to get the save. The game got a little dicey there at the end but he buckled down and got the last out with a strikeout.
Junior Chase Millnder, Wyatt Abercrombie, Bentley and Stanley each collected one hit to lead the Seahawks.
“Overall it was just an outstanding team performance led again by Cody Abercrombie,” said Cox. “He went six-and-one-third innings, giving up three runs with nine strikeouts.
“This game had playoff intensity from the beginning and we found a way to win it. Just really proud of the way we handled ourselves in the tough moments,” said Cox. “We need to build off that and take that into this week coming up.”