A combination of errors and timely hits fueled the Brentwood Bruins baseball team’s (17-1, 6-1) district victory at home Thursday night, 12-2, over the Franklin Admirals (7-11, 3-6).
“This win helps us stay in the hunt with all the other good teams in our district,” said Brentwood head coach Bill Moore. “We knew that Franklin was a good barometer for our team. I think this fuels the confidence our team has been building over the last three weeks."
“It puts us in a good spot to try to be in first place at the end of the year and helps us prepare for Franklin and Ravenwood next week,” said Brentwood starting pitcher Paul Delligatti.
“We watched perfectly executed pitches at the plate,” said Franklin head coach Wally Whidby. “When we got ahead in counts, they changed their approach, put the ball in play and made us make plays. You are not going to win many games if you have as many errors as you do hits.”
In the top of the first inning, Franklin was retired in order by Delligatti, fielding a ground ball and drawing two pop outs to leave the score at 0-0.
Brentwood got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning with a sac fly by third baseman Ben Caylor to give the Bruins a 1-0 advantage.
Franklin answered the run in the top of the second with a RBI single from sophomore second baseman Caleb Anderson and a sac fly from sophomore center fielder Alex Eisenbeck to take the lead, 2-1.
“Both of these guys are sophomores, but they have been playing in the lineup all year long,” said Coach Whidby. “I felt like with this guy’s velocity, they would have a good chance of making something happen and they did. They tried to find a gap and move up runners.”
Brentwood’s offense stalled in the bottom of the second when Franklin starting pitcher Drew Whalen forced groundouts to the third and second basemen along with a run-down, resulting in an out at second base to keep the lead 2-1.
In the top of the third, Delligatti was hitting spots with pinpoint accuracy, forcing the Admirals to groundout to the shortstop and drawing fly outs to left and right field, 2-1.
The Brentwood offense rallied in the bottom of the third, scoring an RBI single from Caylor. Two costly errors from Franklin and a wild pitch allowed BHS to regain the advantage 5-2.
“He (Caylor) has put together good at-bats all year,” said Coach Moore. “He is a smart hitter and has a really good plan when he goes to the plate. He does a good job of trusting the plan and his approach.”
Franklin could not manufacture a run in scoring position on a single and stolen base by catcher Daniel Sherman in the top of the fourth as Delligatti clamped down on the opportunity, drawing a groundout and two flyouts to center field to hold the lead, 5-2.
Brentwood’s offense was held at bay by Franklin reliever Garret Giles in the bottom of the fourth, recording a strikeout looking and forcing a groundout to the shortstop and second baseman to keep the deficit at 5-2.
In the top of the fifth inning, Franklin collected a single by Crews O’Donnell, but a groundout to first and double play killed the momentum for the Admirals as the Bruins remained ahead, 5-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Brentwood tallied seven runs to enact the 10-run rule on Franklin. The onslaught started with a RBI single from first baseman Brooks McDonnough. Then Brentwood catcher Cade Cauthen and center fielder Andrew Billington picked up two RBI’s each on a single. Caylor picked up his third RBI of the night on a single and another run scored on an error by Franklin to give the Bruins the victory, 12-2.
“We just kept our same approaches at the plate and took advantage of the missed pitches,” said Caylor. “We took care of it on the base paths and did not make any mistakes.”
“We had just been staying with what we had done all year, which is hit the ball hard, and it just worked out,” said Delligatti.
Delligatti pitched a complete game and only allowed two runs the entire contest.
“Every time he has pitched this year, he is just pounding the zone, said Caylor. “He is not afraid to face anyb`1ody.”
“He was able to mix his pitches and locate,” said Coach Moore. “Paul is such a great competitor, and when he takes the ball, he really sets the tone for our kids.”
Franklin will take on Brentwood at home Monday.
“I am expecting the same tenacity from this team that they showed against Ravenwood last Tuesday,” said Coach Whidby. “I am expecting some guys to come out swinging with a chip on their shoulder, knowing we put ourselves against the wall.”
Brentwood will face Nolensville at home Friday night before running through the district gauntlet of Franklin and Ravenwood next week.
“I want to see this team competing and playing hard to the final out,” said Coach Moore.