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New Franklin topples Pilot Grove to win CAC title

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
The New Franklin Bulldogs baseball team captured the championship in the Central Activities Conference Friday night by beating the Pilot Grove Tigers 3-0.

New Franklin Bulldogs baseball coach Erich Gerding said his team collectively found a way to win Friday night against the Pilot Grove Tigers in CAC action at Pilot Grove.

After dropping a heartbreaker back on September 4 against the Tigers 7-6, New Franklin came back and won the game that counted on Friday by beating Pilot Grove 3-0.

The win improved New Franklin’s record to 6-4 overall while Pilot Grove fell to 6-5.

“We won a conference championship outright tonight against a quality Pilot Grove team,”Gerding said. “Caleb Hull gave us an immaculate effort tonight and we played some great defense behind him. I thought the key to the game for us offensively was our ability to sustain at bats, keep innings alive, and eventually find a way to get guys in, which Tanner (Bishop) did in the fifth and Tysen (Dowell) did in the sixth. I couldn’t be more happy for these young men, but I would like to see us refocus and set our sights on a good Jamestown team next week.”

Of course the win was far from easy for New Franklin, who was scoreless with Pilot Grove through four. However, in the top half of the fifth, the Bulldogs broke through with one run to go up 1-0 and then added two more in the sixth for the victory.

Caleb Hull picked up the complete game victory for New Franklin while Bailey Quint took the loss for Pilot Grove. In seven innings, Hull struck out six batters and gave up three hits and three walks. Quint, meanwhile, pitched 5 2/3 innings and surrendered three runs on five hits and five walks while striking out 10 batters. Luke Kollmeyer then came in and pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief and allowed one hit and two walks while striking out two.

New Franklin also out-hit Pilot Grove 6-3, with Tysen Dowell going 2-for-3 with two singles and two RBIs. Tanner Bishop was 2-for-4 with two singles and one RBI while Keaton Eads and Jake Marshall added one single each.

For Pilot Grove, Dylan Schupp, Dalton Reuter and Hayden Sleeper each had one single.

In the JV game, New Franklin defeated Pilot Grove 7-2 in five innings.

Zac Roth pitched the second and third innings for the win for New Franklin and gave up just one hit while striking out three batters. Sam Marshall pitched the fourth and fifth for the save with four strikeouts.

Connor Wilmsmeyer had a single and a triple in the game for New Franklin. Sawyer Felten finished the game with a single and one RBI while Zac Roth, Jake Marshall, Sam Marshall and Owen Armentrout each had one single. Kadin Sanders also drove in one run.