SHORT GAP - The Frankfort Falcons defeated Berkeley Springs 5-1 on Tuesday to claim the class AA Region 1, Section 1 championship.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
SHORT GAP - The Frankfort Falcons defeated Berkeley Springs 5-1 on Tuesday to claim the class AA Region 1, Section 1 championship.  
Frankfort, the top-seeded team in the region, will now play host in game one of a best of three series to the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears, winners of the Region 1, Section 2 championship. Game one of the Region 1 championship series is slated for Monday, May 20, at Frankfort, weather permitting.
It was the fourth matchup between the Falcons and Berkeley Springs this season, with Frankfort winning the first three games by scores of 4-0, 3-2, and 10-2. Berkeley Springs, however, came into the contest going an impressive 3-1 in sectional play, with two wins over Grafton (2-1 and 8-3) and Philip Barbour (5-3). Frankfort concludes sectional play going 3-0, outscoring their opponents by an impressive 27 runs to five.
“It was a good win to win the section. Coming in, we’re obviously the favorite; we were expected to come in here and do our job and we did just that. Our offense struggled today, but Caleb (Hare) pitched great and the defense played great behind him, only giving up one run. If we only give up one run, we’re going to win games with our lineup,” a satisfied Frankfort coach Matt Miller said in post-game comments.
As has been the theme all season, senior sensation and Concord University signee Caleb Hare dominated from his position on the mound. Hare went the full seven innings in the win, striking out three, walking two, giving up one earned run on six hits. Hare threw 57 strikes in 85 pitches in earning the win.
“Eighty-five pitches in a complete game, seven innings, is phenomenal.  Berkeley Springs started off with a double and he gave up a run.  Then he came back, and in two innings he had under six pitches; then in the later innings he kept them off balance, and that’s what he does, he’s done it all year for us, he’s our go-to guy,” Miller said of Hare’s performance on the mound.
If Hare’s dominance on the mound has been a theme all season, so too has Frankfort’s overall defensive play. Against Berkeley Springs, the Falcons committed one error to five for the Indians. In 29 games thus far, Frankfort has limited their opponents to three runs or less in 24 of those contests.  The Falcons have recorded five shutouts, held opponents to one run seven times, given up two runs on nine occasions, and three runs three times.  
Berkeley Springs’ one and only run of the game came early, within the first three batters to be exact. The Indians’ Cole Morris opened the game by hitting a double on a fly ball to right field, was moved to third on a successful bunt by Luke Spielman, then batted home by Colby Farris on a ground ball single to center field. There would be no more scoring on the day for the Indians.
They would, however, make things interesting at the end. Trailing 5-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Berkeley Springs would rally to load the bases with two outs. Sam Ambrose singled on a ground ball to center field; Cameron King singled on a fly ball to center field; EJ Barkley walked to load the bases. One swing of the bat could have tied the game. Instead, however, Cole Morris would ground out to short, with Frankfort’s Zack Whitacre making the play to end the game for the Falcons.
“They don’t quit, they battle, they battle you every at bat. I know Caleb’s pitch count was low but they fouled off tons of pitches. Every out is a big out because they battle you. They’re a great group of kids; coming in they were the three seed but I thought they were the other team in the section that we needed to worry about. I expected them to be the team we’d have to come and beat because they do battle you, they don’t give up, they come to play every out,” Miller said of Berkeley Springs.
While Berkeley Springs did indeed score the first run of the game, and score it quick, Frankfort would go on to drive in a total of five runs in earning the 5-1 victory. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, the Falcons’ Damon Spencer hit a fly ball to center field, reaching first base on an error. In the process, however, Spencer’s hit would bring in courtesy runner Peyton Clark and Michael White to put Frankfort up 2-1.
In the bottom of the third inning, Frankfort would do the rest of their damage offensively, scoring three runs to go up 5-1 for good. Brady Whitacre singled on a fly ball to center field to score brother Zack Whitacre from third for run number three. Two batters later, Sebastian Stewart reached base on a ground ball error, scoring Chandler Rhodes and Brady Whitacre for runs four and five.
Frankfort scored their five runs on only three hits, none of which was an extra base hit. The Falcons were aided tremendously by Berkeley Springs’ five fielding errors. Despite the win, Frankfort’s coach Miller feels that while the pitching and fielding has been stout, Frankfort needs to start hitting the ball more.
“We’re not where we want to be yet; we play great defense, we pitch very well, but we’re not hitting the ball as well as we should be right now. So, we’re going to take the next couple days and work really hard on that; we’re going to get ready and try to start hitting the ball like we were earlier in the season, putting up double digit runs instead of having 5-1 and 3-1 games. Our other two sectional wins we put up some runs, but today we didn’t hit the ball really well,” Miller explains.
Frankfort’s three singles came from Zack Whitacre, Brady Whitacre, and Michael White. In addition, Frankfort’s five runs were scored by Peyton Clark, Zack Whitacre, Michael White, Chandler Rhodes and Brady Whitacre.  
Berkeley Springs was led at the plate by Sam Ambrose with two hits, a double and a single. Cole Morris led off with a double and scored a run; Colby Farris singled and had an RBI; EJ Barkley and Cameron King each singled for the Indians.
Luke Spielman went the full six innings on the mound in the loss for the Indians. Spielman struck out five, walked four, giving up zero earned runs on only three hits.
The victory elevated Frankfort’s season record to 24-5. Those five losses have come to AAA opponents Hedgesville and Hampshire (twice), and to a pair of defending state champions; Bridgeport in class AA and Moorefield in class A. The Bridgeport loss was by one run (2-1) in an extra innings affair; the Moorefield loss was avenged in the second game of a double header by a score of 12-3.
Frankfort’s opponent in the regional championship, best of three series, is Fairmont Senior. Frankfort dispatched the Polar Bears 12-1 in a game played in Fairmont on March 30. Frankfort erupted for eight runs in the first inning of that contest, then cruised the rest of the way to the nine-run victory. Game one will be at Frankfort, game two in Fairmont, and if there is need for a game three, Frankfort, as the top seed, has earned the right to host game three.

 
   
 

SHORT GAP - The Frankfort Falcons defeated Berkeley Springs 5-1 on Tuesday to claim the class AA Region 1, Section 1 championship.  
Frankfort, the top-seeded team in the region, will now play host in game one of a best of three series to the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears, winners of the Region 1, Section 2 championship. Game one of the Region 1 championship series is slated for Monday, May 20, at Frankfort, weather permitting.
It was the fourth matchup between the Falcons and Berkeley Springs this season, with Frankfort winning the first three games by scores of 4-0, 3-2, and 10-2. Berkeley Springs, however, came into the contest going an impressive 3-1 in sectional play, with two wins over Grafton (2-1 and 8-3) and Philip Barbour (5-3). Frankfort concludes sectional play going 3-0, outscoring their opponents by an impressive 27 runs to five.
“It was a good win to win the section. Coming in, we’re obviously the favorite; we were expected to come in here and do our job and we did just that. Our offense struggled today, but Caleb (Hare) pitched great and the defense played great behind him, only giving up one run. If we only give up one run, we’re going to win games with our lineup,” a satisfied Frankfort coach Matt Miller said in post-game comments.
As has been the theme all season, senior sensation and Concord University signee Caleb Hare dominated from his position on the mound. Hare went the full seven innings in the win, striking out three, walking two, giving up one earned run on six hits. Hare threw 57 strikes in 85 pitches in earning the win.
“Eighty-five pitches in a complete game, seven innings, is phenomenal.  Berkeley Springs started off with a double and he gave up a run.  Then he came back, and in two innings he had under six pitches; then in the later innings he kept them off balance, and that’s what he does, he’s done it all year for us, he’s our go-to guy,” Miller said of Hare’s performance on the mound.
If Hare’s dominance on the mound has been a theme all season, so too has Frankfort’s overall defensive play. Against Berkeley Springs, the Falcons committed one error to five for the Indians. In 29 games thus far, Frankfort has limited their opponents to three runs or less in 24 of those contests.  The Falcons have recorded five shutouts, held opponents to one run seven times, given up two runs on nine occasions, and three runs three times.  
Berkeley Springs’ one and only run of the game came early, within the first three batters to be exact. The Indians’ Cole Morris opened the game by hitting a double on a fly ball to right field, was moved to third on a successful bunt by Luke Spielman, then batted home by Colby Farris on a ground ball single to center field. There would be no more scoring on the day for the Indians.
They would, however, make things interesting at the end. Trailing 5-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Berkeley Springs would rally to load the bases with two outs. Sam Ambrose singled on a ground ball to center field; Cameron King singled on a fly ball to center field; EJ Barkley walked to load the bases. One swing of the bat could have tied the game. Instead, however, Cole Morris would ground out to short, with Frankfort’s Zack Whitacre making the play to end the game for the Falcons.
“They don’t quit, they battle, they battle you every at bat. I know Caleb’s pitch count was low but they fouled off tons of pitches. Every out is a big out because they battle you. They’re a great group of kids; coming in they were the three seed but I thought they were the other team in the section that we needed to worry about. I expected them to be the team we’d have to come and beat because they do battle you, they don’t give up, they come to play every out,” Miller said of Berkeley Springs.
While Berkeley Springs did indeed score the first run of the game, and score it quick, Frankfort would go on to drive in a total of five runs in earning the 5-1 victory. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, the Falcons’ Damon Spencer hit a fly ball to center field, reaching first base on an error. In the process, however, Spencer’s hit would bring in courtesy runner Peyton Clark and Michael White to put Frankfort up 2-1.
In the bottom of the third inning, Frankfort would do the rest of their damage offensively, scoring three runs to go up 5-1 for good. Brady Whitacre singled on a fly ball to center field to score brother Zack Whitacre from third for run number three. Two batters later, Sebastian Stewart reached base on a ground ball error, scoring Chandler Rhodes and Brady Whitacre for runs four and five.
Frankfort scored their five runs on only three hits, none of which was an extra base hit. The Falcons were aided tremendously by Berkeley Springs’ five fielding errors. Despite the win, Frankfort’s coach Miller feels that while the pitching and fielding has been stout, Frankfort needs to start hitting the ball more.
“We’re not where we want to be yet; we play great defense, we pitch very well, but we’re not hitting the ball as well as we should be right now. So, we’re going to take the next couple days and work really hard on that; we’re going to get ready and try to start hitting the ball like we were earlier in the season, putting up double digit runs instead of having 5-1 and 3-1 games. Our other two sectional wins we put up some runs, but today we didn’t hit the ball really well,” Miller explains.
Frankfort’s three singles came from Zack Whitacre, Brady Whitacre, and Michael White. In addition, Frankfort’s five runs were scored by Peyton Clark, Zack Whitacre, Michael White, Chandler Rhodes and Brady Whitacre.  
Berkeley Springs was led at the plate by Sam Ambrose with two hits, a double and a single. Cole Morris led off with a double and scored a run; Colby Farris singled and had an RBI; EJ Barkley and Cameron King each singled for the Indians.
Luke Spielman went the full six innings on the mound in the loss for the Indians. Spielman struck out five, walked four, giving up zero earned runs on only three hits.
The victory elevated Frankfort’s season record to 24-5. Those five losses have come to AAA opponents Hedgesville and Hampshire (twice), and to a pair of defending state champions; Bridgeport in class AA and Moorefield in class A. The Bridgeport loss was by one run (2-1) in an extra innings affair; the Moorefield loss was avenged in the second game of a double header by a score of 12-3.
Frankfort’s opponent in the regional championship, best of three series, is Fairmont Senior. Frankfort dispatched the Polar Bears 12-1 in a game played in Fairmont on March 30. Frankfort erupted for eight runs in the first inning of that contest, then cruised the rest of the way to the nine-run victory. Game one will be at Frankfort, game two in Fairmont, and if there is need for a game three, Frankfort, as the top seed, has earned the right to host game three.