Senior Dre Scott wasn’t about to let his team lose.
After coming in and pitching a perfect top of the seventh, Scott returned in the bottom of the inning and scored from second on junior Connor Kelly’s slow-rolling single, giving Frankfort a season-opening 8-7 win over Henry County Friday night at Charlie Figg Field.
“The inning before (the seventh) I was in center and I was telling myself, ‘We are not losing this game,’ Scott said. “When we ended up getting out of that inning, I came in and warmed up to pitch and went in with a winning attitude and it paid off.
“‘I’m scoring, I’m winning this game’ — that’s the only thing I was thinking. I had to push myself to make it home before they got there and I made it.”
With the game tied at 7 going into the seventh, Scott entered to pitch a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts and a groundout.
Then in the bottom half of the inning, the lead-off hitting Scott singled to right with one out and stole second a couple of pitches later. Kelly then hit a slow roller toward first. Kelly was safe and Scott came all the way home, sliding in well before the tag attempt.
“With his speed, a slow groundball like that, you have to send him,” first-year FHS coach Jerrad Robin said.
“Dre’s a competitor. He’s a very hard worker, day in and day out, and when he comes to the field he’s ready to play.”
Scott picked up the win in relief, hit an RBI double in the second and scored a run for the Panthers (1-0). Kelly had two singles and scored a run, while senior MacKinley Stonewall had a single and drove in two runs.
“We played well,” said Robin, whose team won despite stranding 11 runners. “It was a group effort, everybody came and was focused and everybody was just ready to go.”
Senior Dylan Adams recorded the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings of relief for the Wildcats (0-1), who had 10 hits and stranded 10. Seniors Isaac Steverson and Brad West, junior Mason Fish and sophomore Ethan Tuggle each had two hits, and all but Fish drove in runs.
FHS led 7-4 after three runs in the third and two more in the fourth with Stonewall and juniors Connor Slone and Jeff Quire driving in runs. That score stayed until HCHS tied it in the sixth after batting through the order.
“We were kind of starting to celebrate a little bit,” Robin said. “I think it’s kind of a new feeling for this team just to have that experience of being successful on the baseball field. But we talked about it, came together and got our focus back.”