Franklinton captures USSSA World Series
Published 3:08 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2017
The Franklinton 12U All-Stars are United States Specialty Sports Association World Series Champions, and achieved the feat in comeback fashion.
Franklinton needed to come back in the final inning of the championship game.
Franklinton, which hit last, trailed the Copiah Stars out of Hazlehurst, Miss., 4-3, going into its final at-bat. Time was about to expire, but they had to complete the inning.
With one out, Brady Smith doubled to the left field wall. Pinch runner Jony Magee stole third. After the second out, Bryson Thomas came up and fouled off the first two pitches, but the third one was a charm.
Thomas got hold of a pitch and sent it deep and over the wall for a two-run walkoff homer, sending Franklinton to a 5-4 victory.
“It’s the kind of stuff every baseball player dreams of — two strikes, two outs, tying run on base, winning run at the plate. It finished in storybook fashion,” Franklinton coach Moby Smith said.
Smith said that being a USSSA World Series champion was almost surreal for a few minutes.
“It took a minute to sink in,” Smith said. “After it was over, it was one of the most incredible feelings I’ve ever had. I was happy for the kids, the parents and the other coaches to be able to finish our season like this.”
Josh Sanford and R.J. Burkhalter pitched the title game for Franklinton.
Burkhalter took the mound with one out and the bases loaded in the third inning with the game tied at 3-3. Burkhalter got his first batter he faced to hit a comebacker to him on the second pitch and Burkhalter started a double play. He threw to catcher Nathan Parden and Parden’s relay throw to first baseman Chase Cooper was in time to complete the 1-2-3 double play to end the inning with the game still tied, 3-3.
Franklinton went 15-1 this summer and Smith said the loss, which was in the AA NIT Tournament during pool play, was 100 percent his fault.
Franklinton went 4-1 in that tournament and the team captured that event. Smith said he took the team to that tournament to help them sharpen their skills, and added that he felt like helped them in the two games against Copiah.
Franklinton defeated Copiah, 5-2, to advance to the title game.
The tournament took place June 28 through July 2 at the Sportsplex in Gulfport, Miss.
Franklinton went 6-0 in the tournament.
They opened the event with a pair of pool play games.
The first one was a 5-3 victory over St. Bernard 12U.
Cooper hit a two-run homer to give Franklinton a 2-1 lead in that contest.
The next game was a 15-0 win over the ABC 12U Wolfpack out of Gonzales.
B.J. Corkern pitched that game for Franklinton.
The team opened up bracket play with a pair of 15-0 wins over St. Bernard 12U and the Bogalusa Young Guns 12U.
Brady Smith pitched a complete game against St. Bernard and Banyan Penton had a complete game against Bogalusa.
The following contest was the 5-2 win over Copiah to put them in the title game.
Josh Sanford and Cooper pitched that game.
The championship contest was the 5-4 thriller over Copiah.
The Bogalusa Young Guns 12U tallied a 3-2 record in the USSSA World Series.
Bogalusa won its first three games, including going 2-0 in pool play.
They defeated St. Bernard 12U by a score of 12-1 before capturing a 12-7 victory over the LPR Bandits 12U.
The Young Guns were victorious in their bracket play opener with an 11-5 win over the Live Oak All Stars.
Bogalusa then lost its next two games, 15-0 and 3-1, to Franklinton and LPR, respectively.