Frankfort High’s baseball team posted seven runs in Thursday’s win over Berea, but for FHS coach Jerrad Robin pitching was the key to the Panthers’ success.
“That starts with Connor Kelley and his pitching, all season really,” Robin said about his team’s performance after its 7-4 victory at Charlie Figg Field.
“I know it’s early in the season, but he’s done a really good job coming in and throwing strikes, and that’s huge because it keeps the defense on their toes. You’re not walking guys, and that keeps everyone in the game.”
Both teams scored a run in the first inning.
Berea’s runs came off doubles by Gabe Long and Neil Claytor.
FHS tied the game in the bottom of the first with a single by Dre Scott, a groundout by Kelley and a double from Jared Stephens.
The Panthers took control of the game with four runs in the second inning with consecutive singles by Conner Slone, Preston Pearl and Taylor Lile and a double by Scott. Kelley reached on an error.
That gave Frankfort a 5-1 lead, and the score stayed that way until the fourth inning when the Pirates plated two runs with a single by Long, a walk, an error, a groundout and suicide squeeze by Trevor Woods.
FHS got the runs back in the fifth inning when Stephens hit a leadoff double and a scored on a single by McKinley Stonewall.
DeShawn Newton, running for Stonewall, advanced on a groundout by Slone and scored on a wild pitch for a 7-3 FHS lead.
Berea closed out the scoring with a run in the seventh with a single by Jason Strong and Daniel Wilkerson’s double.
The Panthers finished the game with 10 hits. Scott had three hits, two singles and a double, and Stephens hit a triple and single.
Kelley, Stonewall, Slone, Pearl and Lile each had a base hit.
“Offensively we looked pretty good,” Robin said. “A few base-running mistakes, but overall we looked pretty good throughout the lineup.”
Kelley pitched the first four innings for FHS, and Jeff Quire finished the game in relief.
Frankfort is off to a 5-1 start, and Thursday’s game ended a four-game winning streak for Berea (4-5).
“I’m very excited,” Robin said. “It’s something the seniors and I talked about, wanting to start a change in our program and getting a positive attitude back towards our program, and winning helps.”
The Panthers are scheduled to play at Owen County today. They’ll take the next week off but return to action April 7 in the 11th Region All “A” Classic, taking on Model at Lexington Christian.