Franklinton defeated by Salmen

Published 1:44 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

SLIDELL — Franklinton trailed 5-0 and loaded the bases in two of the final three innings against Salmen on Thursday, but was only able to score one run off of those opportunities in a 6-1 road loss to Salmen in its bid to win the District 8-4A title.
Franklinton was up in the district by one game over Salmen, but the teams had split the season series, so this game was for the title.
“They did what we thought they were going to do,” Franklinton coach Jeff Tageant said. “They were going to get hits and then they were going to bunt and we knew that. We didn’t make the plays. Threw a lot of balls, got behind hitters and just dug a deep hole for ourselves and didn’t get big hits.
“We had terrible at-bats — very few quality at-bats — and I think the enormity of the moment got to us a little bit. Hopefully it’s a good experience for us when we get here in the future.”
Salmen scored five of its runs over the first three innings.
Deionte Norris began the bottom of the first inning with a single before he was balked to second, and sacrificed to third by Andre Beaudoin. He scored on Nick Talamo’s sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.
The Spartans added two more in the second inning. Joey Smith singled before Cole Jackson put down a sacrifice bunt, and also reached on an error. After a walk to Chase Kitchens, Jack Kelly drove in Smith with a sacrifice bunt and Mickeyren Bentley plated courtesy runner Kenny Harbour with an RBI single to make it 3-0.
Salmen made it 5-0 with two runs in the third. Beaudoin reached on an error. Talamo doubled on a misplayed ball before Smith drove in a pair of runs with a two-run single, as James Benson and Talamo tallied to make it 5-0.
One of the key stats in the game was the leadoff hitter reaching for Salmen. The first batter of the inning reached three times and scored all three times.
“That’s the one thing against Salmen, you don’t want to put the leadoff guy on because they’ll bunt, steal and it puts a little pressure on you,” Tageant said. “Your pitcher’s gotta hurry things up and maybe not make as quality of a pitch as he should.”
The score stayed at 5-0 until the fifth inning, when the Demons got a rally going.
Jared Jenkins opened the fifth with a single before Trent Varnado walked. After the first out, Jalen Burkhalter walked to load the bases.
Ashton Corcoran was next and he recorded an RBI when he coaxed a bases-loaded walk, plating Jenkins to trim the lead to 5-1 with one out. A pop out and lineout to short ended the inning at 5-1.
Salmen added one more run in the sixth. Smith reached on an error to lead off the inning. He stole second and third before scoring with one out on Kitchens’ run-scoring single to make it 6-1.
Franklinton got another rally going in the seventh.
Nate Bracey reached on an error. Pinch hitter Raisean Hart singled and Cocoran walked to load the bases, but Salmen turned a 1-2-3-2-5 triple play to end the game. The pitcher fielded the ball, threw home for the force out, then to first for the out. Salmen then threw home as the runner began to head to the plate and then threw back to third for the out.
The Demons were limited to two hits with Jenkins and Hart having one each. Jenkins scored the run and Corcoran had the RBI.
Smith posted two hits, three runs and two RBIs for Salmen.
Norris, Talamo, Kitchens and Bentley all recorded one.
Talamo, Kitchens, Bentley and Kelly all posted an RBI. Norris scored a run.
Courtesy runners Harbour and Benson tallied a run each.
Winning pitcher Beaudoin threw five innings, allowing one run on one hit with three strikeouts, three walks and a hit batter.
Franklinton played its final regular season game Friday, but it was not complete by press time.