Demons get production up-and-down the lineup in victory

Published 9:32 am Monday, June 9, 2014

After having to come back from a six-run deficit the day before, Franklinton downed Bulldog Diamond Club (Fontainebleau High-based) 7-2 in a road game, which they never trailed.

The game was tied 1-1 after three innings when the Demons (2-0) take control.

FHS scored a run in the fourth before adding three more during the fifth.

Mack McElveen began the fourth with his first of two doubles and scored on Justin Alford’s two-out RBI single to give Franklinton a 2-1 lead after four.

Cameron Dominguez opened the fifth inning by drawing a walk and scored with one out when Trevor Jenkins, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, doubled to right to make it 3-1.

FHS coach Nate Murray praised Jenkins, who was in the leadoff spot.

“He was a guy, who was DHed for in the season and then later in the year, he began to hit, but he was in the bottom of the lineup. The kid came and had three excellent at bats. He squared some balls up at the top of the lineup and it really set the stage for us a few innings. That was big for me for a kid like that to see some success, who’s been a guy with a slightly different role, but tonight, his role kind of evolved a little bit and he embraced it.”

After the second out, the Demons got some timely hits.

Johnathan Crain hit an RBI single, his second run batted in, plating Jenkins for a 4-1 lead and reached second on an error. McElveen then ripped a run-scoring double to the right centerfield gap, sending Crain home with the fifth run.

“It was in a big spot and I just didn’t let the pressure get to me,” McElveen said. “I had fun playing baseball. That’s what the coaches always say, do all of your practicing, do all of your work in practice and let the game come natural and play it like it’s a child’s game. That’s what I did.”

McElveen added that they threw him the pitch he had waited on and took a good cut.

That was plenty for winning pitcher Austin Bradford, who pitched in middle relief and got the win after throwing 4.2 shutout innings. He allowed three hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

Bradford, who normally closes, talked about going through the order more than once.

“It felt good, I was able to keep them off balance,” Bradford said.

He added that he felt good coming in.

Bradford, who also had a single offensively, said his slider was working the best.

The Demons added two more in the seventh. With one out Jenkins singled and stole second.

That brought Angelo to the plate. Going into the at bat, Angelo had not hit a home run in high school that left the yard, but he changed that in a big way.

Angelo took a 2-1 pitch and belted it. He absolutely crushed it to straightaway centerfield, a home run that cleared a wall that’s 385 feet from home plate and is about 15 feet high. The round tripper made it 7-1.

Angelo said he was just going for a base hit. He swung and missed on the first pitch before taking the next two out of the strikezone.

“The next pitch, I was just thinking, ‘get on top of it, hit something in the gap to get at least one run or get me on somewhere.’ But he left it high in the zone and I just put the barrel on it.”

Logan Jordan and Trevor Davis singled for FHS.

Following Thursday’s game, Franklinton coach Murray praised the Demons, saying it amazes him how they could have such quality, balanced cuts after going about a month without seeing live pitching.

“We came out and really squared some balls up tonight,” Murray said. “I stressed to them the idea that that’s just being aggressive in the zone, competing pitch-to-pitch, but being aggressive in our zone and understanding our zone. It’s not about timing, it’s not about getting 200 cuts a day and it’s not even about seeing live pitches and getting those reps. It’s just about being aggressive in the zone, understanding the strikezone and having strikezone discipline. That’s what stands out to me especially about tonight.”

Murray said they had some quality cuts on some quality arms Bulldog Diamond Club threw at them.

“They threw a few guys at us that are really good I felt like. They’ve got 12 seniors coming back and that’s a high-caliber club and our kids were missing three of our main guys (Josh Magee, Landon Magee and C.J. Estave),” Murray said.

Defensively, the Demons turned three plays.

The first occurred in the third inning when Bradford caught a liner hit back at him and threw to McElveen to double a runner off of first. Bradford got through a bases loaded one-out jam after an error by fielding a comebacker, throwing to catcher Colin Dominguez, who then threw to McElveen for the 1-2-3 double play. Angelo fielded a grounder in the seventh with runners at first-and-second and no one out. Angelo stepped on second and threw to McElveen for the double play.

Colin Dominguez came up big in the opening frame. Bulldog Diamond Club attempted to steal, but Dominguez’s threw a strike to Jenkins and he applied the tag for the caught stealing.

“To me, it was big. First inning, they get a guy on and he throws him out. That was big to control the running game. That doesn’t necessarily stand out in the box score, but that’s huge to control the running game after that,” Murray said.

Franklinton is back in action tomorrow with a home game against St. Paul’s. JV begins at 4 p.m. with the varsity set for 6:30.