The Franklin County Seahawk varsity baseball team capped off the week at home Friday, with a memorable extra-inning come-from behind win over Port St. Joe.
“This game we have had circled on the calendar since the season began, our district rival Port St Joe,” said Coach Kevin Cox. “This game was back and forth the whole way.”
“Sophomore Chase Crum started the game and pitched well, even though he did not quite have his best stuff. He gutted out three innings for us.”
The Tiger Sharks scored early with two runs in the first. “I was proud that our boys answered right back in the bottom of the first with three runs scored by sophomore Evan Stanley, junior Will Varnes and Chase Crum. Freshman Cody Abercrombie had the RBI single that scored pinch runner freshman Brayden McCall.”
St. Joe tied it up in the second on a homerun by senior Caden Turrell, and Franklin County regained the lead in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by junior Garrison Cook.
The Seahawks tacked on another run in the fourth on a couple walks and an error on the St. Joe catcher that scored Stanley to make it 5-3.
“In the fifth we ran into some more adversity as a couple errors allowed a big inning for St. Joe and they scored four runs to make it 7-5,” said Cox.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Cox brought in Abercrombie, and he held them scoreless.
A dropped third strike allowed Abercrombie to reach first to start the seventh, followed by a ground-out RBI by Garrison Cook made it 7-6 with two outs and nobody on.
Sophomore Jordan Olson drew a walk and freshman Reece Juno entered the game to run for Olson. A wild pitch advanced Juno to second base, and then a dropped fly ball by the St. Joe right-fielder enabled the Seahawks to tie the game up.
“From there the pitching of freshman Cody Abercrombie was absolutely dominant,” said Cox. “The freshman pitched three innings striking out seven with no walks, allowing one hit.”
In the bottom of the ninth, Cook started the inning by reaching on a ground ball error. Juno walked, putting runners at first and second with no outs. After freshman Chase Millender struck out, junior Blakely Curry walked to load the bases with one out.
Stanley then lined out to left, setting the stage for the dramatic ending. Varnes beat out an infield single to the shortstop, scoring the winning run by Cook.
“This was a big win for us as a team and all 15 players contributed,” said Cox. “Even the guys on the bench who kept our team up after some rocky parts of the game.”
The week opened with a 9-5 loss at Wakulla March 5.
“We had one bad inning in the second, we lost our composure and gave up six runs,” said Cox. “You can just not do that against teams of Wakulla caliber.
“I was proud of the way we fought back and gave ourselves a chance to tie it up late. Missed a lot of opportunities to score runs in some of the middle innings and just could not get that key hit to put runs on the board,” he said.
On March 9 at Rutherford, the Seahawks lost a tough 3-2 contest.
“This was another game where we missed an opportunity early to put runs on the board and it ended up catching up to us,” said Cox.
“It was a great pitching performance from Varnes and Abercrombie,” he said. “A tight game the whole way, we just made one more mistake than they did that gave them the go ahead run.”
Crum had an RBI double and Varnes had two hits.
On March 11 at Cottondale, the Seahawks got back on the winning track with a 3-0 shutout win.
“We showed a lot of fight in this game as we went on the road against a very tough Cottondale team,” said Cox.
The game was scoreless until the fifth when Curry slammed an RBI double to put the Seahawks up 2.0.
“Evan Stanley got the start and pitched outstanding for 4.2 innings, giving up just two hits and no runs, striking out seven and walking only three,” said Cox. “When he got in a minor jam in the fifth, Cody Abercrombie came in and got him out of it to keep them scoreless.”
Abercrombie pitched 1.1 inning, giving up two hits and no runs, striking out three and walking no one.
Crum came on to close out the game with no runs, no hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
Curry, Cook and Crum all had hits.
This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Seahawks snatch extra inning win from St. Joe