Franklinton victorious over Lutcher in 2 of 3 to advance to the quarters

Published 11:54 am Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Franklinton captured the best of three series two games to one over Lutcher, as the teams played three games over 24 hours Friday and Saturday afternoon at FHS.

The Demons won the opener, 12-0, in five innings Friday. Games two and three were Saturday afternoon and were much more competitive. Lutcher evened the series with an 11-7 win, forcing the if necessary game. The Demons rebounded from the loss with a 4-2 victory in the deciding contest.

In the first game, Mack McElveen got the start and was on target. McElveen allowed just three base runners over four shutout innings.

Ryan Recotta singled to left in the second for the Bulldogs’ only hit. McElveen hit Gavin Englade and Alec Louque.

“When you play with a team like this, you have so much confidence in what the coaches have coached you and what you’ve been brought up being coached that it’s just so hard not to just go out and play and perform because all you have to do is go out there and throw strikes,” McElveen said.

McElveen said it’s hard not to be successful with the Demons’ defense because don’t make a lot of errors and they have confidence in themselves.

“That’s the biggest thing right now with our team is that we have confidence in ourselves,” McElveen said.

Austin Bradford pitched a scoreless fifth, allowing just one base runner, Recotta, on a hit by pitch. Bradford got the next hitter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play with the combination of Collin Dominguez to Landon Magee to Johnathan Crain.

The Demons scored three runs in the first before adding four in the third and five in the fourth.

Josh Magee singled and Morgan Angelo opened the first inning by singling. C.J. Estave, Crain and McElveen all drew walks with Crain’s and McElveen’s coming with the bases loaded, plating Magee and Angelo. Landon Magee drove in the third run, courtesy runner Trevor Jenkins, as courtesy runner Logan Jordan was forced at second.

In the third, Estave singled before he was forced at second on Crain’s fielder’s choice. McElveen doubled to the right centerfield gap. Landon Magee singled home Crain to make it 4-0. Collin Dominguez sent Jordan home with the sixth run, and Jamarian Crain made it 7-0 on a two-run single, tallying Landon Magee and Dominguez.

Angelo began the fourth with a hit. Estave reached on an error before Johnathan Crain sent Angelo home for an 8-0 lead. After the second out, Landon Magee recorded his second hit and third RBI with a single, sending Jenkins home, and it was 9-0. Johnathan Crain tallied on an error for a 10-0 advantage.

Dominguez walked. After the second out, Jamarian Crain, walked and then Josh Magee sent Landon Magee and Dominguez with a two-run single to cap the scoring at 12-0.

Saturday’s games were more competitive and kept fans on the edge of their seats throughout.

Lutcher was the home team for the second contest and the Bulldogs came out strong.

After holding FHS scoreless in the first, the Bulldogs took their first lead of the series

They scored two runs in the opening frame to go up 2-0.

Luke Zeringue and Vincent Laurent singled. Englade drove in the first run on a fielder’s choice and Payton Poche’s RBI single with two outs sent Laurent to the plate.

Lutcher loaded the bases in each of the next two innings but Franklinton did a good job of holding the Bulldogs to just one run in each. Shawn Brignac walked, Recotta reached on an error and Ethan Bland was hit. Kennan Deslattes reached on an error that allowed Brignac to score and make it 3-0 after two.

The Demons came back with three in the third. Jamarian Crain was hit with one out and scored on Josh Magee’s RBI double to the right centerfield gap.

Angelo blooped a single to center.

Estave’s sacrifice fly sent Josh Magee home and the Demons were within one.

Johnathan Crain then plated Angelo with the tying run.

But Lutcher came back with a run in its half of the third.

Cameron Guillot singled. After the first out, Brignac singled and Recotta was hit. Bland singled home Guillot to give the Bulldogs the lead, 4-3.

But Franklinton kept coming back.

The Demons scored three runs on three hits in the following frame in an inning with some unusual plays.

Landon Magee singled to let to begin. Dominguez forced Magee at second. Jenkins singled to center. Jamarian Crain singled over first, plating Dominguez with the tying run. An errant throw back to the pitcher from the catcher during an at bat, sent Jenkins home with the go-ahead run. Crain tallied on a sacrifice fly that was caught in foul ground by the first baseman. FHS led 6-4.

The Demons added one more in the fifth. Johnathan Crain walked. McElveen doubled down the right field line, sending courtesy runner Davis to third. Davis scored on Landon Magee’s sacrifice fly to make it 7-4.

The Demons seemed to have the momentum and were getting closer to the sweep, but Lutcher had other ideas.

The Bulldogs scored seven times in the sixth, taking advantage of several walks and errors by the Demons.

Zeringue began the inning with an infield single to second. After the first out, Englade reached on an error, plating Zeringue. Walks to Guillot and Poche loaded the bases. Brignac, Recotta and Bland picked up an RBI each after walking, being hit and walking, respectively. That sent Englade, Guillot and Poche home. Bland’s walk drove in what turned out to be the winning run at 8-7. Deslattes tallied an RBI single to plate Brignac. Zeringue what would’ve probably have been a sacrifice fly to right, but the ball was dropped. He reached and Recotta scored. Laurent then posted an RBI single, plating Bland with the game’s final run.

Lutcher tied the series at one game apiece with the 11-7 victory.

Austin Bradford was the losing pitcher, but he redeemed himself in the next game just a few hours later in a save opportunity that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

That pushed the series to a win or go home situation for both teams.

Fans were treated to seven more innings of just two teams battling each other and this game went down to the final pitch.

FHS was the home team for this game and sent Landon Magee to the hill.

Lutcher jumped out to a 1-0 lead to begin. Zeringue walked, stole second and later scored on Guillot’s RBI single to make it 1-0.

The defense came up with a huge play, as Brignac doubled after Jamarian Crain made a diving attempt. Courtesy runner Gage Gill tried to score, but Crain threw a strike to Angelo and his relay throw to Estave was perfect to get the runner at home and keep it 1-0.

Magee was tough after that. He finished the day by throwing six-plus innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits. He struck out two, walked three and hit one.

“I struggled a little bit starting off, but I knew the defense had my back,” Magee said. “And then Johnathan Crain came up with that big hit and it just got easier after that.”

The Demons tied things in the bottom of the first. Josh Magee reached on an error. Angelo grounded out to third, but Lutcher tried to get Magee going back to second and made an errant throw. Magee went to third and tied things on Estave’s RBI groundout to second.

The game stayed that way until the third inning. Jamarian Crain walked to lead off. With one out, Angelo singled.

The second out was made and that brought up Johnathan Crain.

Crain entered this game without having hit a home run in his high school career, but that all changed on the second pitch of this at bat.

The lefty belted a pitch, high and deep to right field. The right fielder went back as far he could, but could only look up and watch it go. A three-run homer, which came at a perfect time for the Demons, gave Franklinton the lead 4-1.

“Coming up, there was a runner on first and second,” Crain said. “Coach always talks about get the job done, score the runners that are in scoring position. When the pitch was delivered, I just swung and (hit) a home run.”

Crain said the jog around the bases was pretty fun.

“I always watch MLB (Major League Baseball) players do it and I just wanted to do it one time and it happened today,” Crain said.

The battle between the two teams continued, as Lutcher rebounded in the fourth inning. With one out, Recotta walked. Bland and Delattes both reached on errors. Zeringue brought the Bulldogs closer with a sacrifice fly. Recotta score, and Franklinton’s lead was down to two.

The teams played scoreless fifth and sixth innings, so Franklinton still led 4-2 going into the seventh.

Things got tense in the seventh though. Laurent began the inning with a single to right. Englade did the same. Guillot singled to center. The bases were loaded with nobody out.

Tageant went to his bullpen and brought in Bradford to help the Demons get through a tough situation.

The senior had struggled just a couple of hours earlier in the loss, but even though it was the same day, it was a new game.

It was a pressure spot.

Bradford said coach has always worked with his team on their mentality in never letting the pressure get to them.

“Coach Nate (Murray) has already told us that when the pressure’s on, we’re either 15 percent better or 15 percent worse. I was able to step up a little bit,” Bradford said.

Bradford stepped more than a little bit. He struck out the first hitter he faced, and then the second one and then the third one. All three on swinging third strikes to end the game.

Franklinton coach Jeff Tageant said Saturday was a tough day and tipped his hat to Lutcher for coming out and getting after Franklinton Saturday.

“I told the kids, ‘don’t expect them to come out and lay down,’” Tageant said. “Coming out with a win in the second game (Saturday), I think the stress and pressure of this game will help the kids. This last game for Landon to come in, not having many innings this year, and he just did a great job. Johnantan’s big hit, and for Austin—Austin struggled a little bit the first game today, didn’t have his good stuff. He had been a little sore this week, so I was a little worried, but he said he was ready. To come in and strike out the side with the bases loaded no out, it was just a big deal for him. I am just so proud, and that’s seniors there that all did great job. It was a long day, but it was a good day.”

The third-seeded Demons are headed to the quarterfinals to face sixth-seeded St. Michael the Archangel in another best of three. The format and game times are the same as they were for this series. All three games are at FHS. Game one is 4:30 p.m. Friday with the second set for 1 p.m. Saturday and the if necessary contest 4 p.m. Saturday. St. Michael will hit second in the second game.