The pitching of Gavin Bishop and Koy Harris may have been the talk of the game for the New Franklin Bulldogs in the Class 1 District 11 opener Friday against Higbee. But the catch of the game came from junior Jackson Dorson on the game’s very first batter as Dorson went to his left to making a  diving catch.
That catch set the tone for the rest of the game as the No. 3 New Franklin baseball team defeated sixth-seeded Higbee 15-0 in four innings.
New Franklin, 7-8 on the season, will play No. 2 Madison in the semifinal round on Monday in New Franklin starting at 4 p.m. In the other semifinal game, No. 1 Wellsville will take on No. 4 Community, a 4-3 winner of Glasgow, at 6 p.m. The two winners will advance to the championship game on Tuesday, May 14 starting at 5:30 p.m.
“Jackson made a diving play in left field on the first play of the game to really set the tone,” Gerding said. “Gavin and Koy did a great job for us-a combined perfect game. Exciting to have another shot at Madison on Monday.”
As for Bishop, the junior hurler picked up the win and struck out six batters in three innings. Harris then came in and pitched one inning in relief and recorded one strikeout.
Of course the Bulldogs weren’t bad at scoring runs, either. After putting up one run in the bottom half of the first on two walks and a fielder’s choice by Crayton Gallatin, the Bulldogs came back and unleashed a world of hurt on Higbee in the second by exploding for 11 runs on just two hits and six walks to extend the lead to 12-0.
New Franklin also sent a total of 17 batters to the plate in the inning, which included a two-RBI single by Dorson and a two-RBI double to left by Tysen Dowell to extend the lead to 5-0. The Bulldogs added four more runs on a fielder’s choice, walk, hit batter and an error to make it 9-0. Then, after another bases-loaded walk, Zachery Held drove in two more runs with a single to left to go up 12-0.
New Franklin sent another run across in the third on single by Colten Collyott-who later scored on a wild pitch. Then, in the fourth, the Bulldogs plated two more runs on a RBI-single to center by Bishop and a RBI-single to left by Gallatin to end the game.
Dorson also led the team in hitting with two singles and three runs batted in. Held finished the game with a double and two RBIs. Dowell also doubled while Bishop added a single and one RBI and Collyott with one single.
Ernie Boggs took the loss on the mound for Higbee.