FHS’s Maxwell nearly throws a no-hitter

Published 1:59 pm Monday, March 20, 2017

MANDEVILLE — Franklinton pitcher Hunter Maxwell came just two outs short of throwing a no-hitter in the Demons’ 10-1 victory over Fontainebleau on the road Thursday.
The senior had his pitches working the entire game. In fact, until the seventh, the Bulldogs had just two base runners. One reached on an error and the other one walked.
Maxwell was economical on the hill. He needed just 74 pitches to throw the complete game. He finished the game by allowing one run, which was unearned, on one hit with six strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter.
Maxwell said his fastball seemed to work pretty well for him and his curveball was breaking nicely. He also credited his catcher J.P. Magee for the job he did behind the plate.
Maxwell said he felt great on the mound.
“Coming off of the year injury (elbow) and throwing like that boosted my confidence,” Maxwell said.
Franklinton coach Jeff Tageant said Maxwell did well.
“Hunter kept his pitch count to a minimum and threw a lot of strikes,” Tageant said. “I think he walked one or two, didn’t give up a hit until the seventh inning, so for us to do well, Hunter’s going to have to pitch well and he did tonight.”
Maxwell was also helped out by his defense, which made some solid plays behind him.
The game was scoreless through two innings, but the Demons got on the board with the bottom of the order setting things up. No. 9 hitter J.J. Jackson began a one-out rally with a walk. Jackson stole second and third. Leadoff hitter Jamarian Crain was next and he also walked and he swiped second.  Wyatt Verret then plated both runners with an RBI double down the right field line. Collin Dominguez traded places with Verret with an RBI double over the left fielder’s head to make it a 3-0 game through three innings.
All four of those players had big games for the Demons. The group combined to go 10-for-14 (.714 batting average) with seven RBIs, two walks and 10 runs scored.
Jackson had two singles and a walk in his three plate appearances and scored every time. Crain went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and three runs scored. Verret posted four RBIs as part of a 3-for-4 night with a double and three runs scored. Dominguez went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
“J.J. Jackson in the nine hole got on two or three times for us and we were able to run some bases, which really, really helped us,” Tageant said. “We haven’t done a great job at the plate, but tonight, we had some clutch hits, some RBIs, so it’s nice to put 10 on the board. We haven’t scored a whole lot of runs this year, so hopefully we’re peaking at the right time.”
Franklinton doubled its lead in the sixth. Once again, Jackson began the scoring rally, this time leading off with a single followed by a steal of second base. Crain reached on an infield single. One of the middle infielders got to the ball, but Jackson alertly scored on the play. Crain advanced to second on the throw home and scored when Verret drove him in by singling to center. Trent Varnado singled. Ty McGhee grounded into a fielder’s choice as Varnado was forced at second, but the attempted double play throw was wide of first. McGhee was eventually tagged out in a run down, but Verret tallied on the RBI fielder’s choice to make it 6-0.
Maxwell continued to cruise and the Demons added four more runs in the seventh inning. Jackson and Crain set the table with singles to start the frame. Back-to-back RBI singles by Verret and Dominguez made it 8-0. Verret scored on a wild pitch for a 9-0 game. Varnado walked. After the first out, Mike Martin singled home Dominguez for the 10th run.
Fontainebleau’s run came in the bottom of the seventh. Jeffrey Poulliard reached on a throwing error. After the first out, Casner Jablonski broke up the no-hitter with a double. The next hitter, Michael Malbrough, plated Poulliard with an RBI groundout.