Franklinton tops Bogalusa

Published 9:34 am Friday, March 9, 2018

Two innings were key in Franklinton’s 7-2 victory over Bogalusa in Tuesday’s contest held at Franklinton.
The game essentially came down to an inning for each team where they had a chance to capitalize on miscues.
Franklinton led 1-0 through two, but Bogalusa got a rally going in the third. Joe Roberts reached on an error, Joe Ikerd reached on an error from catcher’s interference, and Marlon Myles walked.
But Ashton Cocoran picked up his defense and came back with two strikeouts, followed by a force out at home to end the frame. Throughout the jam, catcher J.P. Magee did a solid job of blocking curveballs in the dirt to save runs.
“He relied on his curveball and he made some good pitches and J.P. (Magee) behind the plate, had some good blocks there,” Franklinton coach Jeff Tageant said. “I think that was important. That could have been a turning point in the game if they could’ve put up two or three runs. Keeping a zero in that inning was important for us”
Cocoran was solid all game and displayed a good curveball throughout. He went three shutout innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts and one walk. Offensively, Cocoran, singled, doubled and scored a run.
“This is his first start,” Tageant said. “He’s had some arm issues. He transferred in. He’s a fastball/curveball guy. He kept them off balanced. He threw well. Got in a little trouble early and I think he got out of a bases-loaded situation with nobody out without allowing a run, so that was really important for us early.”
Franklinton held a 4-2 lead going into its half of the sixth and added three runs to the lead on two hits as the Demons took advantage of four errors.
With one out, Cocoran doubled down the left field line. Landon Keller singled to left, sending Cocoran to third. The Demons ran the first and third play with Keller taking off from first. The throw to second was low and past the fielder. Cocoran scored to make it 5-2 and Keller went to third.
Richard Berry hit a grounder to third, but a throwing error home allowed Keller to score to make it a four-run margin. Berry reached second on the play. Jared Jenkins reached on an error and Berry tallied to make it a 7-2 game.
“It’s about being big in big moments — we had a big moment and we weren’t big in it,” Bogalusa coach Michael Cummings said. “We didn’t get the runs in. I think he fanned the first two batters he had after the bases were loaded. It’s all about just improving at practice. That’s why we practice. I’m proud. We’ve just gotta take what we learned tonight and apply it for the rest of the season.”
Franklinton took a 1-0 lead in the first. Jenkins walked, stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored when Nate Bracey, who had a hit, two walks, an RBI and two runs scored, hit a single that deflected off of Bogalusa pitcher Chas Smith. Smith was solid in his 2-1/3 innings of work. Smith allowed just one unearned run on two hits with one strikeout, a walk and a hit batter.
After Cocoran got through the third, his team added two runs in the third to take a three-run lead. With one out, Wyatt Verret and Bracey walked. Magee, who singled, doubled, got hit and drove in three runs, was next and he hit a pitch to the left centerfield gap, plating both runners to give the Demons a 3-0 lead.
“Whenever I get up to bat, all we want to think is just a base hit. You just want to get on base,” Magee said. “Base runners are what win ballgames. I can’t just put it on me. We had some other good shots by some other good players in some big spots like number 2 Landon Keller. He came through in a big spot for a base hit with two strikes.”
Bogalusa trimmed the lead to 3-2 in the fourth. Tyrese Roussell hit an infield single to third and De’Salaam Pittman walked. Roussell stole third, but a throwing error allowed him to score. Pittman went to second on the play and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-2.
Franklinton added another run in the fifth.
Bracey walked, stole second and later scored on Magee’s RBI single to center for a 4-2 lead.
The Demons put up three insurance runs in the sixth for the 7-2 victory.
Jenkins pitched four innings of relief, allowing the two runs on one hit. Jenkins struck out nine and walked two. Jenkins accomplished the unusual feat of striking out four in the fifth inning, after one of the hitters reached on a third-strike wild pitch.
Bogalusa’s Jay Baham singled and Marlon Myles walked.

Bogalusa pitcher Chas Smith and catcher De’Salaam Pittman meet at the mound during Tuesday’s game