Two high school baseball rivals went toe-to-toe Monday at Central Heights. The Vikings found enough offense to sweep West Franklin.
Central Heights won 5-2 and 2-1 in eight innings. The nightcap was a pitching dual.
West Franklin’s Kolton Eckenroed tossed a two-hitter with eight strikeouts. Tristan Davis pitched six innings for the Vikings had three strikeouts. Jordan Horstick pitched the eighth and had three strikeouts.
“We could not get anything together,” West Franklin coach Danny Homer said. “We hit the ball right at them.”
Central Heights coach Jason Brown said Davis, who relieved Drew Beckwith after the first inning, gave the Vikings a nice performance.
“He gave his defense a chance to help him and worked ahead in most of the counts,” Brown said. “He hit his spots and gave us a chance to win.”
Central Heights won the game on Adam Pryor’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Beckwith scored both runs for the Vikings.
“We played solid defense again with only one error,” Brown said. “We did what we had to do to win. We had some mental mistakes in this game that was disappointing, but the players never gave up and battled hard to make up for those mistakes.”
Trever Burkdoll kept the Falcons off balance during his 6 1/3 inning stint in the opener. He had nine strikeouts. Homer said Burkdoll was the difference.
“He was commanding on the mound,” Brown said. “He had his stuff and mixed up his pitches real well. He wanted the ball on the mound the whole night and was excellent for us. He worked at a fast pace and we played defense behind him as well only giving up one error.”
Horstick struck out the final two batters for the save.
“It was a defensive battle and their pitchers did a nice job of keeping us off balance,” Brown said. “We came up with some clutch hits in the fifth inning when we scored three runs from Trever, Drew, and Jordan Smith. We added an insurance run in the sixth, and scored our first run in the first inning. This was our first defensive battle of the year and it was good to see the boys keep their composure and come through with the win.”
Homer likes how the Falcons (3-3) are competing in every game
“It should make the regional every interesting,” Homer said with the Falcons, Central Heights and Wellsville paired in the same regional.