After bringing the players to the dugout during a rain and lightning delay last night in a Class 1 Sectional game at Stoutland, the New Franklin Bulldogs baseball team had that look of bewilderment.
Not because of the score. The Bulldogs had pretty much taken care of that while leading Stoutland 6-1 in the top-half of the fifth. The bewilderment came from not knowing what was going to happen next. With a tornado warning in the next county over and lightning striking all over the sky, the players were somewhat perplexed as to whether they would finish the game.
As it turned out, the game was called just in time before the torrential rain covered the area.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the game will pick back up today in Stoutland starting at 4 p.m.
New Franklin coach Erich Gerding said the teams approach got better throughout the game and they worked themselves out of a jam in the second.
“Tyler Hull came through with a huge bases loaded double in the fourth with two outs and now he’s up with the bases loaded again,” Gerding said. “We need to be ready to capitalize on this as soon as we step off the bus.”
Although the New Franklin-Stoutland game was suspended, there were two games that were actually completed last night in Class 1. Oran defeated Cooter 5-1 while Naylor beat Bakersfield 6-1.
As for the game last night, the Bulldogs jumped out on top to stay against Stoutland by pushing across one run in the first when Tyler White led off by reaching on an error and later scored when junior Alex Holem blooped a single to right for an RBI.
Of course Stoutland also had its chances after loading the bases with two outs in the bottom-half of the second on one walk, one error and a single to left by Kane Mathews. But that’s where it stopped when senior pitcher Tyler White got Layne Wood on a fly out to center to end the inning.
Meanwhile, after holding the Bulldogs scoreless in its half of the third, Stoutland came back and tied the game at 1-all after a walk to Tony Sein and a double to center by Byron Begley. Michael Brown then hit a fly ball deep enough to right to score Sein to knot the game at 1-1.
Stoutland never got any closer to taking the lead as New Franklin came back with four runs in the top-half of the fourth, which all started with a double to right center by Matt Anderton. While sending a total of eight runners to the plate in the inning, freshman Zachery Evans brought in the second run with an infield single to make it 2-1. Then, after Tyler White reached on an error and Tanner White walked to load the bases, junior Tyler Hull came back and smashed a three-RBI double to deepest part of the park in left center to extend the lead to 5-1.
Page 2 of 2 - The desperation started to set in for the Tigers after that while having two players gunned down trying to steal in the bottom-half of the fourth. The first came on a throw to second for the first out while the second occurred at home plate.
Meanwhile, in the top-half of the fifth before play was suspended, the Bulldogs added another run by loading the bases on a walk to Evan Storjohann, an infield single by Evans and back-to-back walks to Tyler White and Tanner White to make it 6-1.
Tyler White stands to pick up the win for the Bulldogs barring a rally by Stoutland in the final-two innings. In four innings pitched, White has given up only one run on two hits and two walks while striking out three batters.
Senior pitcher Byron Begley, meanwhile, has pitched all five innings for Stoutland and surrendered six runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out three batters.
Zach Evans and Dylan Johnson each have two hits in the game for New Franklin. Evans is currently 2-for-2 with two singles and one RBI while Johnson is 2-for-3 with two singles. Hull is 1-for-3 with a double and three RBIs while Matt Anderton also has one double, Alex Holem with a RBI-single, Tyler White with one single and Tanner White with one RBI.
For Stoutland, Kane Mathews and Byron Begley each have one hit while Michael Brown has the teams only RBI.