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FC routs Comets diamonders 18-8

While there is still a lot of baseball to be played in the Western Valley District, Halifax County High School’s chances of winning the regular-season title have dimmed considerably.

Franklin County High School took full advantage of 18 walks given up by four Comets pitchers to rout the Comets 18-8 Friday night in Rocky Mount in a game stopped in the sixth inning under a slaughter rule.

“Our pitchers let us down tonight, that was it,” said Comets Head Coach Kelvin Davis.

“Our pitchers did not throw strikes; they were not consistent with that. Franklin County took advantage of that – they got key base hits. They hit the baseball very well, they were up for the game and we just struggled.”

Friday night’s loss was the second loss for the Comets in Western Valley District play, and it gave them a split with Franklin County High School in their two regular-season contests against each other.

The loss, the Comets’ second loss in their last three outings, puts them two games behind district leader GW. Halifax County High School is now 8-6 overall and 3-2 in Western Valley District play with three district games remaining. Those games include road games against GW and Patrick Henry High School and a home date against William Fleming High School.

Halifax County High School had 11 hits in Friday night’s game against Franklin County High School, while the Eagles had 14 hits.

The Comets got two hits each from Will Harris, Rufus Jeffress and Patrick Barton, and a hit each from Ryan Yates, Nick Anderson, Tyler Stephens, Ryan Powell and Andrew Hamlett.

Halifax County High School got off to a good start with two runs in the top of the first inning, with Yates leading off with a hit and Anderson reaching base on an error on an attempted sacrifice. Both later scored to give the Comets a quick 2-0 cushion.

Franklin County High School answered with five runs in the bottom half of the inning, tagging Powell, the Comets’ starting pitcher for five hits, to take a 5-2 lead.

Once in front, Franklin County High School never lost the lead.

The Eagles added four runs in the second inning to extend their lead to 9-2. Halifax County bounced back to score two runs in the top of the third inning with Anderson reaching base with a one-out single and scoring on a hit from Jeffress. Stephens reached base with a hit and scored on an error to make the score 9-4.

Franklin County picked up a run in the third inning to make it a 10-4 score.

The Comets scored twice in the top of the fourth inning to make the score 10-6, but gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning as Franklin County moved ahead 13-6.

Halifax County scored two runs in the fifth inning, but the Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame and tacked on the game-ending run in the bottom of the sixth inning.