NEW MADISON — The Tri-Village baseball team won its first Cross County Conference game of the season on Wednesday as the Patriots beat Franklin Monroe 10-5 in New Madison.
“It’s been a little while since we’ve had a win so it’s nice to get back on the winning track, and hopefully we can build a little momentum,” Tri-Village baseball coach Jim Maples said.
Tri-Village had eight hits in the game while Franklin Monroe had seven. The Patriots committed two errors, and the Jets made three.
Franklin Monroe was the home team even though the game was played in New Madison as unplayable field conditions in Pitsburg made the teams move the game.
Tri-Village jumped out to an early lead as Justin Royer drew a one-out walk and Tanner Maples doubled to give the Patriots two runners in scoring position. Tyler Cook took advantage of the opportunity with a two-RBI double for a 2-0 lead.
Franklin Monroe kept the game close though as Zach Hyre hit a two-out double in the bottom half of the inning. Daniel Wiseman then drove in him, cutting Tri-Village’s lead to 2-1.
The third inning was the big one for Tri-Village as the Patriots took advantage of Jet mistakes.
Jonny Wilson led off the inning with a walk and then stole second and took third on a passed ball. A Royer single brought in Wilson for a 3-1 lead.
Maples and Brandon Peters then both reached on errors, which helped extend the inning and brought in two more runs for a 5-1 Patriot lead. After a Brent Hager single, Trent Laux hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1 in favor of Tri-Village.
“Tonight the thing that killed us was that four-run inning in the third,” Franklin Monroe coach Justin Wilson said. “We made two errors, gave up three unearned runs. Momentum shifted then. We went from being down a run, right in the game, to all of a sudden down five.”
Franklin Monroe started to dig out of the hole in the fourth inning. Wiseman led off with a single and Sam Napier and Ross Burnett drew back-to-back walks to load the bases.
After Tri-Village got the first out of the inning, an error brought in one run and then a sacrifice fly to Kayle Oswalt scored another to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Tri-Village added to its lead in the sixth inning, though.
Caleb Bowman and Craig Swartz drew walks after which Wilson singled to load the bases. Royer then singled to drive in two runs for an 8-3 lead. Wilson then scored on a line out by Maples to make the Tri-Village lead 9-3.
Tyler Cook increased the lead even further as he led off the top of the seventh with a solo home run.
Trailing 10-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, Franklin Monroe put together a rally.
After Justin Bingham walked, Landon Peters reached base on an error that allowed Bingham to score for a 10-4 score. Peters then scored on a double by Hyre to make it 10-5.
“I like the way they fought,” Wilson said. “Not overly aggressive at the plate. We took what they gave us. If they wanted to walk us, we took the walks. But when they threw it over the plate we were up there ready to hit it.”
Wiseman and Napier then walked to load the bases. Bowman came in to relieve Cook on the mound, promptly getting two outs to secure Tri-Village’s 10-5 win.
“We’ve hit the ball pretty good all year,” coach Maples said. “Our pitching and throwing strikes has been our biggest problem, and Tyler Cook gave us a good effort today. I wish we would have finished things off a little bit better there at the end, but it was a real bonus to have Caleb Bowman come in and throw two pitches and get us out of that inning.”
Cook earned the win for Tri-Village, allowing two earned runs and three unearned runs on seven hits, five walks and three strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Bowman set down both batters he faced.
Napier was the losing pitcher for Franklin Monroe, allowing four earned runs and five unearned runs on six hits, four walks and one strikeout in 5.1 innings. Hudson Rich pitched 1.2 innings in relief, allowing one earned run on two hits and one walk.
Offensively for Tri-Village Royer was 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and three RBI. Maples was 2-for-3 with a double, a RBI and two runs scored. Cook was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
For Franklin Monroe Hyre was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a RBI and a run scored. Wiseman went 2-for-3 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored.
“Well our approach at the plate was good,” Wilson said. “We teach use the middle of the field, gap to gap. I’ve seen that approach in the last four games, which is very encouraging and shows in our stats because batting averages have come up, hits have come up, runs have come up, strikeouts have gone down. Those are all good things, but we have yet this season to play a game where we hit well, pitch well, field well and run the bases well. In 11 games now, hasn’t happened yet.”
Franklin Monroe fell to 1-10 with the loss while Tri-Village improved to 6-9 with the win.
“We were 5-9 coming into today, but we have three one-run losses and another two-run loss out there,” coach Maples said. “I mean we’re that close to turn that thing where we could be 9-5 instead of 9-5. That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to worry about right now is not having a defeated attitude out here thinking we’re not a good ball club. We’ve got to find a way to come back and get things done.”