Darkness suspends Franklin-Bellbrook matchup after 13 innings

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Franklin High School senior C.J. Trevino talks about Thursday's game at Bellbrook, which was tied 7-7 after 13 innings when play was suspended by darkness.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

By the time darkness started to cover Bellbrook High School’s baseball diamond Thursday evening, one thing was clear: The Golden Eagles have seen enough of Franklin this week.

The Wildcats secured an 8-7, eight-inning win over Bellbrook on Wednesday, then rallied from 5-0 and 7-3 deficits in the rematch to forge a 7-7 deadlock in a contest that was suspended by nightfall after 13 innings.

“I was so proud that we battled and worked through it,” Franklin coach Matt Current said. “Games like this really test your mettle, and when you watch these guys and see them play with the passion to continue to work, I love it. I take a lot of positive away from it.”

Senior catcher C.J. Trevino wasn’t surprised by the Wildcats’ persistence.

“I’m proud of every single one of these guys,” Trevino said. “Our pitchers persevering. Our batters getting up there and doing the thing. This was our game, and it’s still our game. We’re still tied up and ready to go for the win.”

Lights aren’t part of the Golden Eagles’ baseball complex. If they were, Trevino said Franklin would’ve played all night to come away with a victory.

“I’ll battle because these guys are my brothers,” he said. “I’ll gladly get out here through blood, breaks, anything, just to get out here and win this game.”

Bellbrook (4-7, 0-4) scored five runs on no hits in the first inning thanks to a combined six walks and a hit batter from FHS pitchers Nate Jones and Evan Margerum. An error aided the Golden Eagle cause.

Sophomore Dylan Hawk stepped up with seven shutout innings in relief and freshman Tytus Tussey gave up no runs in the last three frames for the Wildcats, who are 8-2 overall and 3-1 in the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division.

“We struggled with the mound,” Current said. “The mound’s kind of high, and I think our guys were really struggling to find the strike zone. For whatever reason, Dylan Hawk came in and was just right on it. It was just his mound.”

Franklin cut the deficit to 7-6 with three runs in the fifth, then tied the game in the seventh with a two-out infield single by Austin Gilbert that plated Zack Minton.

Minton had two hits and two RBIs for the Wildcats. Konnor Black added three hits, Trevino chipped in a double and a single, Matt Spurlock drove in two runs, and Lane Kinzer notched an RBI.

“If there’s one word, it’s frustrated,” Bellbrook coach Rich Demko said. “We were up 7-3 yesterday and gave them some runs and let them back in it. And here we are again, 13 innings later.

“We’ve got to focus on the positives, and there were a lot of positives. We’re a young, inexperienced team, and we really competed.”

Jake Todd collected four singles and Chad Furderer had two RBIs for the Golden Eagles. Jacob Schmidt and Alec Martin both contributed two hits, and Jayden Elliott, Sam Sherrill, Tyler Dreischarf and Todd chipped in RBIs.

Schmidt, Jonathan Hyman and Andrew Peters did Bellbrook’s pitching. Peters finished with six shutout innings.

“They both threw strikes, and that’s what the three or four before them didn’t do,” Demko said of Hawk and Peters. “We always preach throw strikes and good things will happen, and it did for both of them. The last six innings was a pretty good baseball game.”

The game will be resumed on a day that has yet to be determined.

Like the Demko, Current has a young squad. His starting infield included two sophomores (first baseman Aaron Blake and shortstop Cooper Daniels) and two freshmen (Tussey at third base and Minton at second).

“They’re a very exciting team to watch,” Current said. “The thing I really like about this team is our balance. We have good depth in pitching. We have speed on the bases. We have senior leadership with six seniors. And we’ve got a lot of young, fresh, hungry blood too.”

Franklin is off this weekend and will play Edgewood on Monday at Wright State University’s Nischwitz Stadium. The Golden Eagles will host Valley View on Friday.

Franklin 003-030-100-000-0—7-10-2

Bellbrook 502-000-000-000-0—7-10-3

PITCHERS OF RECORD — F: Tytus Tussey; B: Andrew Peters