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Comets roll past Franklin County 6-1

It was a game Ryan Powell needed and a game Halifax County High School needed from Powell.

The Comets' junior hurler held Franklin County High School to five hits and two walks and fanned four batters as the Comets downed Franklin County High School 6-1 Tuesday night at Halifax County High School.

"I was just trying to throw strikes and get some ground balls and get some outs," Powell said.

"All of my pitches were working pretty well and the team was making some great plays behind me. It was a really good day."

Comets Head Coach Kelvin Davis said Powell delivered the type of game he needed to see out of Powell.

"We needed that performance out of him," Davis pointed out.

"I'm pretty impressed with the performance he put on tonight. Ryan is capable of doing that. Pitching is a big concern, so I was glad to see him step it up tonight."

The Comets' defense got Powell out of a big jam in the first inning with a crucial double play after Franklin County High School had the bases loaded with one out.

Then, the Comets scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, two of them coming on a home run by Patrick Barton, to stake Powell to a 4-0 lead. From that point on, Powell was never in serious trouble as he went the distance.

Franklin County High School got one hit in the second inning and scored its lone run of the game with back-to-back hits with one out in the top of the third inning to make it 4-1 score.

After that point in the game, Powell did not yield another hit and faced only one batter over the minimum through the final four innings.

"It's a lot easier up there (on the mound) pitching with a lead," Powell remarked.

"I was confident and I knew I had a great defense behind me."

Halifax County High School scored a run in the bottom of the third inning with a double from Barton and a run-scoring double from Tristan Howerton to extend its lead to 5-1. The Comets scored their final run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Barton, who had reached base with his third hit of the game, scored as Howerton reached base on an error.

Halifax County High School had nine hits in the game, with Barton leading the team with a 3-3 effort that included a home run and a double.

"The (Franklin County High School) pitcher hung a curve ball," Barton said of the pitch he hit over the fence for the two-run homer in the first inning.

It was a knuckleball that Barton belted for the double in the third inning.

"That was the nastiest knuckleball I've ever seen in my life," Barton pointed out.

"It about hit me in the head and came in."

The three-hit effort by Barton was a continuation of a recent hitting binge. He is 5-6 at the plate for his last two starts and 7-11 over the course of his last four games.

Ryan Yates and Howerton had two hits each and Rufus Jeffress and Thomas Cole each chipped in one hit.

Cole continued a hitting streak of his own with his hit in the contest. The Comets' sophomore has had at least one hit in each of the last five games in which he has batted.