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Comets fall to FC, need help to win WVD

South Boston News
Dale Trents tags a runner during Friday's loss to Franklin County. The Comets fell to second place in the Western Valley District. (David Conner II photo) / May 09, 2010
When speaking of timely hitting, Franklin County senior Ben Adkins could be considered an expert.

It was his timely hit that played a huge factor in Franklin County’s 3-0 Western Valley District baseball win over two-time reigning league kingpin Halifax County Friday at W.W. Naff Jr. Field.

The Eagles’ triumph squares the regular-season series between the two, long-time diamond rivals and leaves FCHS and Patrick Henry tied atop the district standings at 5-1.

Halifax, which has GW at home Tuesday, needs to win out and hope that PH defeats FCHS.

That scenario would force another three-way logjam at the top of the standings and a two-tiered playoff set-up to determine the district champion.

“We’re in a deep hole and we’re going to need some help getting out of the hole,’’ Halifax skipper Kelvin Davis said. “We’ve got to win out and hope we can get some outside help.’’

In running their winning streak to four games, the Eagles (13-4) collected six hits off Halifax starter Dylan Sons, who was charged with the loss.

Adkins broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single in the bottom of the third and the Eagles tallied an insurance run in the last of the sixth.

Base hits by Shane Preston and Seth Hammock set up Adkins’ game- changing hit.

Halifax could only manage four hits – three singles and a double – off three Eagles’ pitchers: righthanders Trey Heatwole, who started, and Dylan Layman and Herminio Rivera each of whom worked an inning in relief.

Halifax managed two hits off of Heatwole, who struck out four in five innings.

As a team, the Comets struck out eight times and benefited from only four walks and a hit batsman.

“We didn’t get the big hits. We didn’t hit like we normally hit and in this game, you’ve got to put some hits together,’’ Davis said.

“Anytime you come to someone else’s home (field) and don’t get runs early, their fans get into it and the (home) team get up too. We never had any momentum going. That’s part of this game also,’’ Davis said.”We didn’t have that in our favor tonight.’’

Heatwole (5-0) threw 54 pitches. Layman worked the sixth in relief and Rivera closed the game in the seventh to earn his school-record setting fourth save of the season.

FCHS committed error-free defense behind its three pitchers. Halifax was charged with the game’s lone error.

In earlier action, the Comets rolled to a 7-0 win over Bassett Wednesday, sparked by solid offensive leadership from Dale Trent and Scott Rickman.

Trent, batting third, went one-for-two with two RBI and two runs scored. Rickman was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored.

Trent socked a two-out solo homer in the first and later had an RBI sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Rickman also stepped up with a two-run double in the fifth. He followed up with an RBI double in the seventh.

HCHS had just seven hits overall, as the Comets scored once in the first inning, added a run in the third, two in the fifth and three in the seventh.

Ryan Puryear and Aron Puryear did a fine job on the mound.

R. Puryear got the win with six innings of work, striking out six. He had two walks, allowed three hits and no runs. A. Puryear followed, working one inning. He fanned one in a scoreless, hitless appearance.

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