It’s been three district games in three days for Frankfort High and Franklin County’s baseball teams, a run that left both teams’ coaches encouraged.
Franklin County went 3-0 in three days, closing out the district run with an 11-6 victory over Frankfort High Wednesday at FCHS.
FHS showed improvement this week, losing just 5-4 at Woodford County Monday and leading the Flyers 2-0 Wednesday.
“We hit the ball hard tonight,” FCHS coach Deron McDonald said, “but they made some defensive plays behind their pitcher. The second time through the lineup we did a whole lot better job putting the ball in play.”
It was the Panthers who took the early lead Wednesday, scoring the game’s first run in the first inning.
Dennis Martin singled in the first and scored on a double by Collin Harris.
FHS added another run in the second when Ben Griffin and Chance Hudnall hit back-to-back, one-out singles. After a strikeout for the second out, Dré Scott came through with a base hit to drive in Zack Miller, running for Griffin.
The score stayed 2-0 until the bottom of the third when the Flyers tied the game. FCHS took the lead for good with four runs in the fourth inning.
-“We came out and jumped out in front,” FHS coach Anthony Russell said. “Every game this week we’ve never quit, we’ve come back or been on top, and we have one bad inning where it gets away from us.”
In the third inning for FCHS, Tyne Nickel led off with a single. J.P. Roberts, running for Nickel, was forced out at second when Quenton Brownlee hit into a fielder’s choice.
An error on the throw to first allowed Brownlee to reach second base. He stole third and scored on a balk.
Conner Brown followed with a double and took third when Eric Meyer reached on an error. A double steal allowed Brown to score and Meyer to advance. After a walk the inning ended with a popup to short.
FCHS went ahead 6-2 in the fourth as Logan Crum led off with a double and Nick Cumpston followed with a run-scoring triple. Nickel grounded out to short, bringing Cumpston home for a 4-2 lead.
Brownlee lined a shot to right field that rolled to the fence, and he raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run, making the score 5-2.
Zach Arnold singled, stole second and went to third when Brown grounded out to second. Eric Andersen, who came in to run for Arnold, scored on a wild pitch.
“Franklin County is patient at the plate,” Russell said. “They pay attention, they wait, and they don’t hit the ball softly. They rock the baseball.”
The Flyers added three more runs in the fifth as Crum and Nickel both doubled to score one run. Brownlee singled, and Arnold was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Brown drew a walk to score a run and keep the bases loaded, and Meyer brought a run home with a sacrifice fly.
Down 9-2, Frankfort scored three runs in the sixth. With one out Cody Hall hit a single. After a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Griffin and Hudnall hit back-to-back singles, scoring Hall and sending Alex Hunter, running for Griffin, to third.
A triple by Jeffrey Quire scored two runs to make the score 9-5.
The Flyers added two runs in the bottom of the sixth as Crum was hit by a pitch and Cumpston singled, sending Crum to third.
Another double steal allowed Crum to score. Cumpston advanced to third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Nickel.
The Panthers closed out the scoring with a run in the top of the seventh with a single by Harris and a triple by Hall.
“Once we got going our guys were able to put some runs across,” McDonald said. “I thought our kids played well, but Frankfort High played well, too.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Frankfort hit the ball like that, and they did it against pretty good velocity from both pitchers.”
Brownlee was FCHS’ starting pitcher and went three innings before being relieved by David Current.
Quire started on the mound for the Panthers and pitched five innings with A.J. Bramble pitching the sixth inning.
“I thought Jeffrey did a good job on the mound,” Russell said, “and A.J. came in and did a good job.”
Those with hits for FCHS were Crum with a single and two doubles, Brownlee with a home run and single, Cumpston with a triple and single, Nickel with a double and single, Brown with a double, and Arnold with a single.
Harris had three hits – a double and two singles – to lead FHS. Hall hit a triple and single, Griffin and Hudnall both singled twice, Quire hit a triple, and Martin and Scott each had a base hit.
Both teams are off today. FCHS returns to action at home Friday against Tates Creek, and the Panthers’ next game is Monday at Williamstown.