May 22, 2018

Braves take huge rubber game over Blue Devils

(Franklin) — The Braves took another big step towards a Region 5-AA Championship Monday in Franklin where they took the rubber game of a best-of-three series with Bremen by a score of 7-4.

It was a beautiful day for baseball at HHS after the series finale had been rained out for several consecutive days.

Chandler Polk set the tone early blasting a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning giving the Braves an early 1-0 lead.

Junior Tristan Brown lays down a perfect bunt as part of a five run 5th inning for the Braves Monday afternoon

Junior Tristan Brown lays down a perfect bunt as part of a five run 5th inning for the Braves Monday afternoon

Another run was added by the home team after Zack Hill doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Tristan Brown.

Hill advanced to third on a base hit by Drew Wulff.

The Blue Devils answered with a single run in the top of the third off of Brave starter Keagan Spradlin and that would be all of the scoring until the bottom of the fifth when the Braves broke it open with five more runs.

The key play of the inning was a bases loaded single by Polk that turn into four runs thanks to a Blue Devil throwing error (see video below.)

Sophomore Lee Kay also drove in a big run with a sacrifice fly and Brown placed a perfect bunt that loaded the bases. 

The Devils countered with two in the top of the sixth and one in the top of the seventh before Polk came on for the save. Spradlin once again got the win with a solid effort.

The junior hurler tossed six innings scattering seven hits and walking four while allowing only three earned runs.

The win sets up an opportunity for the Braves to win their first region title in more than a decade as they travel to Bowdon on Tuesday before returning to Franklin Friday for a doubleheader finale versus the Red Devils.

The Braves would clinch the title by winning two of the three games. First pitch today is at 5:30 in Bowdon.

“Today was big I can’t say enough again about our guys bouncing back after losing that first game last Tuesday at Bremen — a lot of teams would have folded,” said head coach Trent Bianco after the win.

“We are just taking it one day at a time — one game at a time. We will enjoy this one tonight but we have to get right back out there and beat Bowdon or these wins don’t mean anything. The big pitching performances from Lee Kay and Keagan Spradlin these last two games was real big.”

Taking the region title will be crucial for either Bowdon, Bremen, or the Braves as the top three teams in Region 6-AA (the first round opponent of Region 5-AA at state) are are also three of the top teams in the state overall.

The Braves have not won a region title since 1985 when they finished second in the state.

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