After warming up with some pre-season losses, the varsity Seahawk baseball team secured their first win Friday night, in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Malone.
The first game had gone poorly, a 12-0 shutout. “We played about as poorly as we possibly could, did not pitch, field or hit well,” said Coach Kevin Cox.
Sophomore Larry Winchester hit a double in the first inning, but he was stranded at second. Sophomore pitcher Garrison Cook also had a hit.
But the Seahawks got it going in the second game that started 20 minutes later.
“Very proud of my young team as the boys turned the page and came out swinging in the bottom of the first,” said Cox.
Sophomore captain Gage Boone started the game and put in three solid innings, giving up three runs on one hit and striking out five.
The scoring started in the first when Franklin County scored three runs, highlighted by a two-run single from freshman Evan Stanley. Malone battled back to take a 5-3 lead into the fourth.
“With two outs and nobody on,” said Cox. “Freshman Jordan Olson singled, freshman Mason Moses walked, and sophomore Blakely Curry walked to load the bases.”
Winchester, on a 1-2 count, singled to right center to tie the game at 5. Sophomore Will Varnes walked to re-load the bases, and then, on the first pitch, freshman Wyatt Abercrombie singled to center to score Curry and Winchester and give the Hawks a 7-5 lead. Freshman Chase Crum then worked a walk followed by a walk from Stanley to score Varnes.
Winchester recorded the final three outs to get the win. “This was such a team win and showed a lot of character for the young team, coming back from two down and two-outs in not-so-good weather on the road and on the heels of playing about as poorly as you can in game one,” said Cox.
“I am so proud of this team and the way they battled the whole game. This is a young team but they come to play every game and I look forward to the rest of the year,” he said.
In the pre-season, on Feb. 13 at Leon, Franklin County lost 14-2 to Wakulla.
“In this game we just did not pitch well. Way too many walks and key errors for us to have any chance to win," said Cox. “We were still trying to find out who can really handle some key positions in these pre-season games.”
Curry and Winchester each had a hit. “We really didn’t give up many hits but the walks just were too much to overcome,” said the coach.
In the second game against Leon on Feb. 15, the team played better, but lost 10-0.
“The surprise of the game was the pitching of freshman Chase Crum who pitched 2 2/3 inning of scoreless relief,” Cox said.
“This game we had a chance early to have a big inning,” he said, as the team loaded the bases in the first before a line drive double play ended the inning.
“We are very young team this year as all but one starter are sophomores or younger,” Cox said. “We just have to work every day to get better. The talent is here, we just have to do the small things well to give ourselves a chance to win.
“This game we swung the bats well but just did not find any holes,” said the coach. “Leon was a very solid team and did not make any mistakes.”
The Seahawks opened the regular season at home Feb. 17, playing well against Godby in sustaining a 5-1 loss.
“The game really was decided on a few plays,” said Cox.
He said Varnes and Crum pitched well enough for the Seahawks to win, as they gave up just four hits to a very solid Godby team.
“We had runners in scoring position but just could not get that key hit to score runs,” said Cox.
Curry and Abercrombie each had a hit for Franklin County.
The team also includes seniors Gabe Smith and Zach Odom, sophomores Hunter Duval, Weston Bockelman and Jared Odom, and freshman Owen Poloronis.