Frankfort tops Berkeley Springs in sectional play

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Frankfort's Peyton Clark races towards home plate to score one of the Falcons' eight runs in their 8-2 victory over Berkeley Springs on Tuesday.

SHORT GAP - The Frankfort Falcons did battle with the Berkeley Springs Indians for the third time this season on Tuesday. Frankfort won the first meeting in a close, 6-4 affair, then blasted the Indians 18-10 in the second matchup. This third matchup, an 8-2 win for Frankfort, means the most as it was in the opening round of sectional tournament play.

Frankfort dominated play from pillar to post. Beginning with the pillar, Frankfort amassed an early 4-0 lead in the game’s opening frame. Brady Whitacre, Andrew Lynch, and Ben Nestor each walked to load the bases. Tyler White then walked to score Whitacre for a 1-0 Frankfort advantage.

David Jackson then singled on a line drive to center field to score Lynch for the 2-0 Falcons’ lead. Colton McTaggart then singled home Nestor and White for the 4-0 lead for Frankfort right out of the gate.

In the fourth inning, Logan Kinser got things started with a single. Kinser was then moved to second on a Brady Whitacre single. Then came a Peyton Clark double to score Kinser and extend the Frankfort lead to 5-0.

Finally, as for the post part, the Falcons would get three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, their last needed at bat, to extend their lead to 8-0 entering the seventh inning. A pair of doubled to start the inning from Brady Whitacre and Andrew Lynch scored Whitacre for the 6-0 lead. After a Peyton Clark walk, a Ben Nestor double scored Lynch and Clark to give Frankfort eight runs.

In the top of the seventh inning, Berkeley Springs mustered two runs, but it was too little, too late, as Frankfort grabbed the 8-2 victory.

“We are tightening up on defense, we’ve made some adjustments, and Brady pitched real well today. He stayed ahead of batters and kept his pitch count low. We talk him out at 74, so if we would need him to close on Friday he is available, but he is definitely available on Saturday if needed,” Frankfort coach Matt Miller stated.

Frankfort was flawless in the field, committing zero errors.

“That was big for us. Playing defense behind him kept his pitch count down. I’m very happy with that,” Miller explained.

Whitacre’s performance on the mound was solid. The senior sensation went the first six innings in the win. Whitacre struck out eight, walked two, giving up zero runs on two hits. Freshman Cam Lynch pitched the seventh inning for Frankfort, striking out zero, walking zero, giving up two runs on two hits.

In the loss, Berkeley Springs employed the pitching services of four separate players. Tyler Barney, Carson Stotler, Jordan Miller and Garrett Stotler collectively struck out six, walked seven, giving up right runs on nine hits.

“Offensively, you said we had nine hits, that’s not enough. We didn’t hit the ball as well as we should have today,” Miller opined.

Nonetheless, Frankfort’s hitting was good enough to produce eight runs, quadrupling the offensive production in terms of runs produced by their opponent.

Frankfort was led by Brady Whitacre and Peyton Clark, each with two hits. Whitacre doubled, singled, and scored two runs. Clark doubled, singled, added an RBI and scored one run.

Andrew Lynch, Ben Nestor, David Jackson, Logan Kinser, and Colton McTaggart each had one hit for the Falcons. Lynch doubled, added an RBI and scored two runs. Nestor doubled, added two RBI’s and scored one run. Jackson added an RBI, Kinser scored one run, and McTaggart added two RBI’s. Tyler White added an RBI and scored one run for Frankfort.

In the loss, Berkeley Springs collected one hit each from five separate players, Evan Thompson, Chance Swink, Carson Stotler, Jordan Miller, and Cole Oursler. Thompson added two RBI’s. Oursler and Logan Whitmore each scored one run for the Indians.

With the win, Frankfort jumps out of the gate in sectional play with a 1-0 record.  In this double elimination format, there’s still plenty of baseball to play. Miller was asked what he thought of his positioning with the 1-0 start.

“It’s the same as it was this morning, we’ve got to win tomorrow. Tomorrow’s game is what positions you. If you win or lose today, you want to win, but you have to play every day if you lose. You have to play every day if you lose today or tomorrow.  If we win tomorrow, we’re in really good position. If we lose tomorrow, we’re in the same boat as if we had lost today, you have to play every day,” Miller explained.

According to Miller, “So, today, it’s nice to get a win, it’s nice to play in the winner’s bracket, because it makes sure if we win tomorrow that we don’t have to play a third day in a row. But, today is not as important in that sense as tomorrow. We have to get a win tomorrow so we can have a day off and sit and wait for whoever is going to show up and play us after that.”

As for Grafton?

“They’re not an easy out. Obviously today they upset Keyser, scoring five runs late. But, we’re going to throw Ben (Nestor) at them, we’ll see what they can do from there, but, I like where we’re at,” Miller stated.

Miller was asked about the leading performance of senior Brady Whitacre, who led the Falcons both on the mound and offensively. For Miller, Brady’s performance was par for the course, no different than what he’s done day after day.

“I always talk to Brady about big time players making big time plays in big time situations. A playoff game is a big time situation, and a big time player made big time plays,” Miller explained.