After several close losses this season, the New Franklin baseball team finally had one go its way Thursday night at home against the Sweet Springs Greyhounds.
While scoring in dramatic fashion with a steal home in the bottom half of the eighth for a 5-4 victory, head coach Erich Gerding said every player did something to get this win-so many that it is impossible to mention everyone. “We really needed to win a close one like this,” Gerding said. “We have been battling our rear ends off and to get a win like this-just really excited for this group.”
With a total of nine runs on 22 hits, the Bulldogs also led Sweet Springs early on after pushing across one in the first and two in the third. However after a scoreless fourth, Sweet Springs came back and outscored New Franklin 4-1 over the next-two innings to tie the game at 4-4.  Meanwhile, after another scoreless inning in the seventh, New Franklin scratched and clawed for its only run in the eighth on a steal home.
In the eighth, Gerding said Crayton Gallatin led off by hitting a laser to short. Then, after a fly out for the first out in the inning,  Gerding said Andy Neal hit a seed down the left field line. Gallatin was then thrown out at third on the same play. Colten Collyott then hit an infield single in the shortstop hole to put runners on first and third. Gerding said Neal then stole home for the win when Sam Marshall had an 0-1 count.
Caleb Hull picked up the win in relief for New Franklin. Koy Harris started the game and pitched four-plus innings and gave up two runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three batters. Hull then came in and pitched four innings in relief and allowed two runs on five hits while striking out five batters.
“Koy pitched well by staying ahead most of the time,” Gerding said. “Caleb came in and did the same. Combined, they were only behind six total times. Caleb, a freshman, came in in the fifth when Sweet Springs had no outs and bases loaded and got three consecutive fly outs without allowing a run and ended up getting his first varsity win.”
As for the hitting in the game for New Franklin, Gavin Bishop went 2-for-3 with two singles and one RBI. Crayton Gallatin also had two hits while Dustin Mehrhoff added a single and one RBI and Colten Collyott, Andy Neal, Sam Marshall and Zac Held each with one single.