• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Woodford falls to Franklin County in district tourney

It was just not the Woodford County High School baseball team’s night against Franklin County on Tuesday, May 24, in the first round of the 41st District baseball tournament, which was held at Franklin County. With solid pitching by senior Nate Beavers through four innings, Franklin County was unable to get much offense going. Unfortunately, neither was Woodford against the Flyers’ pitcher, Blake Redman. But then Franklin County was able to get three runs in the fifth inning, and went on to a 6-0 win over Woodford to end the Bat Jackets’ season. With the loss, Woodford finishes the season under first-year head coach Paul Patterson with a 13-19 record. And, while their record doesn’t show it, the Bat Jackets are, for the most part, a young team, and with the solid leadership of Patterson and his coaching staff, the team is impvoving and headed in the right direction. In the first inning, Beavers pitched well, as he faced four batters, allowed a double, but the Woodford defense helped end the inning soon after. In the bottom of the first, Redman also was pitching well and got the first two Bat Jackets out. Then, sophomore Caleb McNeely hit a hard grounder to deep third base, which went past the third baseman, but was caught by the shortstop who was backing him up. However, with all that going on, McNeely was able to out run the ball to first to get on base. Unfortunately, Woodford’s next batter hit the ball to the shortstop who tagged second for an easy third out to end the inning. In the top of the second inning, Beavers and the Woodford defense continued to play strong, and got out of the inning quickly. In the bottom of the second, while Woodford’s batters were able to get the bat on the ball, the Franklin County defense did its job and the Bat Jackets went down in order to end the inning. Beavers’s pitching seemed to be getting stronger in the top of the third, as the inning ended fast, as three batters went to the plate and were put out. In the bottom of the third, Woodford got a runner on base, as freshman Ben Browning was walked to start the inning. However, with junior Alec Neff at bat, Browning tried to steal second, got caught in a run down and was tagged out. Redman then struck out the next two Woodford batters to end the inning. In the top of the fourth, Beavers and the Woodford defense had their best inning of the game, as they got the Flyers out in order to end the inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Woodford’s offense seemed to gain some momentum. With two outs, the Bat Jackets had two runners on base, senior Colin Enlow on second and junior Parker Thomas on first. Enlow got on base with a grounder, which he out ran to first base, and Thomas followed with a single to right field, which advanced Enlow to second. With those hits, Woodford, which all season long seemed to score with two outs, seemed poised to get a run in the inning. However, with freshman Charlie Corum at the plate, Thomas leaned a little two far off first base and got picked off by Redman to end the inning. So at the end of four, the game remained scoreless. Franklin County’s bats came alive in the top of the fifth, as the Flyers scored three runs to take a 3-0 lead. Patterson then brought in Thomas to relieve Beavers, and he got the Flyers out to end the inning. Beavers finished his night with 4-2/3rds innings pitched and had four strikeouts, while giving up three runs on five hits and two walks. All in all, Beavers had a solid night on the mound, but the Woodford defense made some mistakes that allowed the runs to score. In the top of the sixth, the Flyers scored another run, while Woodford was unable to respond, and at the end of the inning, Franklin County led, 4-0. Franklin County then put two more runs on the score board in the top the seventh to take a 6-0 lead in the game. In the inning, Thomas was relieved by senior Clay Rouse, who got the Flyers out to end the inning. Thomas finished his night with two strikeouts, while giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. In the bottom of the seventh, Woodford started well, as Enlow hit a grounder into center field for a single, then reached second on a wild pitch to Corum. But, Franklin County was able to get the next three Woodford batters out in order to end the game, and Woodford’s season.

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