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Comets edge Franklin County 2-1 in eight innings

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, Ryan Puryear was looking for one good pitch. When Franklin County High School relief hurler Corey Davis delivered it, Puryear jumped on it, driving it for a hit that scored Kelvin Davis Jr. to give the Comets a 2-1 win over the Eagles here Friday night.

“I was just looking for something over the plate and trying to hit it in the gap somewhere,” Puryear explained.

“It was right at the right spot. I felt like he (C. Davis) needed to bring it right down the middle. The bases were loaded and he couldn’t afford to walk me.”

Friday night’s win keeps the Comets (11-2 overall, 3-1 district) in the thick of the chase for the Western Valley District regular-season title. The Comets are now in second place in the standings, one game behind district leader GW, whom the Comets will face Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Dan Daniel Park in Danville.

Franklin County High School’s record dipped to 10-6 overall and 2-2 in district play. Patrick Henry High School, which stands in fourth place, has three losses in district play.

“It’s a big win,” Puryear pointed out.

“We needed this one. It gives us a lot of confidence. We know we can win and beat GW.”

Friday’s game was a pitching duel between the Comets’ Tyler Long and Franklin County High School’s top pitcher, Javin Metz.

Long fanned seven batters and allowed only two hits and a run in his seven innings of work. He yielded six scattered walks.

Metz fanned four batters and gave up eight scattered hits.

“We knew it was going to come down to a pitching duel between those two guys (Metz and Long),” remarked Comets Head Coach Kelvin Davis.

“Those guys threw a heck of a ballgame.”

The tide turned for the Comets when Kelvin Davis Jr. led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a single and moved to second base on a wild pitch. With one out, Franklin County intentionally walked designated hitter Joe Martin and Dylan Sons to load the bases. The Eagles took their chances with Puryear, and Puryear made them pay.

“We got the hits at the right time,” noted the Comets head coach.

“It’s a great night for us.”

Halifax County took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when Zach Clem led off with a double. Davis followed with a hit and Clem scored on a Franklin County error on the play to give the Comets the lead.

Franklin County High School tied the game in the top of the seventh inning when Blake Smith walked and later scored on a single from Chase Hatchett with two out.

The Comets had runners in scoring position at third base in both the third and fourth innings but failed to score. In the third inning, the Comets failed to execute a squeeze bunt and Kelvin Davis Jr. was throw out at third base.

In the fourth inning, a base-running mistake cost the Comets a second possible opportunity.

“That’s a part of baseball,” Davis pointed out.

“It’s something we will continue to work on.”

Kelvin Davis Jr., Sons and Puryear had two hits each for the Comets. Clem and Long had one hit each.

Now, the focus shifts to the Comets’ road game against GW Tuesday night.

“It’s not really do-or-die quite yet, but it’s a huge ballgame,” Davis pointed out.

“If we can win that game, we’re looking pretty good. If we lose, we’ll have to have some help from someone else. Hopefully, we can just go up there and play our game.”