- Last Updated on 05:07 PM 05/03/12
- BY Doug Ford
Halifax County senior hurler Dylan Sons and his teammates knew the winner of Wednesday’s Senior Night home game against Franklin County would take over the top spot in the Western Valley District race.
They responded accordingly, with Sons hurling two-hit ball through six innings, and with the Comets scoring five runs in the first inning on the way to a 9-2 win over the Eagles.
“I think I did all right. I was a little tight in the first inning, but I came back in the second inning and got a little looser,” said Sons, a Winthrop University commit.
Sons knew his teammates would back him up.
“I had to keep it low and that helped me a lot with ground balls,” he commented.
Halifax County seniors Sons, Ford Bradshaw, William Worley, Joe Martin and Dylan Hendricks played key roles in the win that gave the Comets a 5-0 record in the district and 11-3 record overall.
Franklin County had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a hit batsman, walk, fielder’s choice and base hit, followed by a two-out base hit, but the Comets responded with five runs of its own in its first at-bat.
Will Harris drew a leadoff walk and Ford Bradshaw singled ahead of William Worley’s two-run double. Ryan Yates singled and Sons reached on a fielder’s choice, before Joe Martin laced a two-run single and Dylan Hendricks reached base on an error.
Staked to a 5-2 lead, Sons allowed only three Franklin County base runners in the next five innings, two in the third inning after a Comets’ error and base hit.
Center fielder Bradshaw gunned down Franklin County’s Andrew Davis at the plate after Ryan Peevey’s base hit to stem that rally, and another Franklin County batter was stranded at first base after a two-out error in the fifth inning.
Sons was stranded after a single and stolen base in the second inning, but Halifax County added a run in the fourth on a Hendricks double and Nick Anderson single and three more in the seventh on singles by Harris and Bradshaw, followed by a two-run single by Ryan Puryear. Harris also scored on a passed ball.
Sons, who also doubled in the fifth inning, struck out five batters in six innings, and Bradshaw allowed one hit while striking out a batter in relief of Sons.
First-inning miscues, including a failed run-down in the first inning, cost his team a chance at staying with the Comets, according to Head Coach Barry Shelton.
“We had a mental lapse for about four minutes in the bottom of the first and it snowballed on us,” he said. Instead of making one mistake we made three or four.”
“The good thing was we came out in the second and settled down, but I think the worst part about it was it changed us offensively,” he added.
“Having to hit when you’re down is hard, especially when there is a good pitcher on the mound.”
His team getting an early lead was one of the keys to the game, according to Comets’ Head Coach Kelvin Davis.
“That was one of our game plans coming into this game, and I told them how important it was to us to jump ahead of them,” said Davis.
“They got those two runs, but I tip my hat to those guys, they came in our half of the inning and unloaded on them.
“That’s what we had been talking about, jumping on teams like this, and I was so glad to see them jump on a team like Franklin County.
“They have a good ball club over there. This is a game of baseball, and once you can get a team down early it takes a lot out of them, so I’m glad my guys were able to do that.”
“I don’t know his (Dylan’s) pitch count right now, but I thought he did a good job of keeping guys off balance…he’s always going to be around the plate,” Davis noted.
Davis agreed with Shelton the district race is not over, not with Halifax County paying a visit to Franklin County next Thursday.
“This is huge, for first-place in the district, but it’s not over,” said Davis. “We still have our work cut out for us, and we just want to keep adding on the wins.”