Franklinton 5, Southern Vance 2
Story and photos by Marty Simpkins
FRANKLINTON — Neither Franklinton nor Southern Vance took control of their baseball game March 16, but then a strong fifth inning from the Red Rams gave them the 5-2 victory at home.
According to Franklinton coach Ryan Whitney, the Red Rams took advantage of Southern Vance’s poor pitching in order to run away with the game at the end.
"Southern Vance’s pitchers started to struggle a little bit late in the game," Whitney said. "We were able to get runners on bases and put some balls in play. Southern Vance’s pitcher got a little tired at the end and started to miss the strike zone."
Franklinton scored first in the bottom of the third inning, but then Southern Vance responded with a run in the top of the fourth to tie it at 1-1.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, Nick Mitchell, a freshman, hit a single that brought in fellow freshman Tanner Dixon to retake the lead for Franklinton at 2-1.
Southern Vance tied the game again in the top of the fifth, but then Franklinton scored two runs in the bottom of the inning and then added another in the sixth.
The pitching from Franklinton’s Jalen Adams helped shut down the Raiders in the final two innings and the Red Rams held on to win, 5-2.
"Jalen Adams did an outstanding job on the mound for us," Whitney said. "He’s the reason we had an opportunity to win this game. He threw first-pitch strikes, battled hard and gave us an opportunity to be in the game. He’s done a great job for us every time."
With the win, Franklinton improves to 4-2 and 2-0 in conference play. Southern Vance stays winless at 0-3.
Last year, the Red Rams went 3-3 in their first six games of the season, so this season shows they are making improvements.
However, Whitney wants to see his team have a better mindset when they take the field so they can keep improving.
"Our effort right now is not where it needs to be," Whitney said. "We are content with being content. I want us to stop approaching the game like we’re good enough to show up and the opponent is going to lay down. When we play at our best, we’re good enough to compete with anyone. It’s not a physical issue, but it’s a mental one."
Franklinton’s next game is tonight (Thursday) at home against Roanoke Rapids at 6 p.m.