Baserunning plays key role in Demons loss to Fontainebleau

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, March 23, 2016

MANDEVILLE — Baserunning can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing close ballgames.

On Friday night, Franklinton hurt itself with some mishaps on the basepaths in an 8-6 loss to Fontainebleau on the road.

The Demons, which lost nine seniors from last year’s Class 4A quarterfinal team, had two runners picked off third base by Fontainebleau’s catcher and one at first by a Bulldogs’ pitcher. They also had a player thrown out at third trying to advance on a potential wild pitch, and another thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.

“We had three people thrown out at third, one at second and a pick at first,” Franklinton coach Jeff Tageant said. “You can’t take anything away from Fontainebleau. They were very hard to pitch to, they struck out very few times (three), and they put it in play — we made too many mistakes tonight. I feel like we’re swinging it OK. Mack (McElveen) came back tonight and was able to throw. We’ll be OK. It was a playoff type of atmosphere tonight. We had our chances and we sort of blew it, but we’ll get better and we’ll learn from it.”

McElveen returned to the mound after an injury. He threw two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits.

Franklinton took a 1-0 lead in the first. Jamarian Crain walked and stole second before advancing to third when McElveen grounded out to the shortstop for the second out. The Bulldogs elected to intentionally walk C.J. Estave, putting runners on the corners. Courtesy runner Hunter Maxwell took off prior to a pitch to the next hitter. The throw went to first and then to second to try and get Maxwell out. Crain scored on the play to make it 1-0.

But Fontainebleau came back with three run in the bottom of the frame.

Leadoff hitter Louis Pyle was hit. Jeffrey Poulliard put down a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error allowed him to reach and Pyle to advance to third. Austin Lambertson doubled, plating Pyle with the tying run. Two hitters later, Justin Cantrelle hit a two-run double to the right-centerfield gap, giving Fontainebleau a 3-1 lead.

The Demons cut the lead in half in the third when McElveen, who went 2-for-4, drove home Crain with an RBI groundout to make it a 3-2 contest. Crain picked up his second hit. Crain reached base in all four-plate appearances, singling twice and drawing two walks. He also drove in a run and scored three times.

The Bulldogs answered back with two in the bottom of the third. Lambertson, who had four hits, including two doubles, recorded a double and advanced on a wild pitch. Ryan Zimmerman walked and stole second. Jude Aucoin walked, but a wild pitch on ball four allowed Lambertson to score and Vinnie Palisi plated the fifth run with a fielder’s choice.

The Demons came right back in the fourth. Estave led off the inning by driving a pitch to deep left center for a homer, as he hit it off the light pole. It was his second-straight game with a home run and the Demons were within two at 5-3.

Collin Dominguez was next and he singled before advancing on a groundout by Tanner Sanburn. Zack Bell was hit by a pitch and Caleb McKenzie hit a double down the leftfield line, plating Dominguez and bringing the Demons within one. Later in the inning, Crain hit an RBI single by Crain sent Bell to the plate with the tying run. It was 5-5 after the top of the fourth, but again, Fontainebleau answered.

Poulliard, who went 2-for-3, singled and later scored on an error for a 6-5 contest.

It remained that way until the sixth when the Bulldogs added two insurance runs. Poulliard and Lambertson both singled. Later, Cantrelle put down a squeeze bunt, plating Poulliard. Zimmerman, who reached on a fielder’s choice, later scored on an error.

The Demons came back with one in the seventh. Crain walked and later scored on McElveen’s RBI double to center. The Demons had the potential tying run at the plate, but were unable to cash in, as they lost to Fontainebleau, 8-6.

Also for Franklinton, Wyatt Verret had a hit. For Fontainebleau, Tristan Halbrook singled.