While they did strand nine more batters on base Tuesday, the Flyers — once again — found a way to win. Franklin County used a three-run fourth inning to stretch its winning streak to eight after a 4-1 victory over Highland Green in a rain-shortened, six-inning Zone 2 American Legion baseball contest.

“I’ve said to a couple folks that we’ve left a lot of guys on base,” Gunzinger said. “It’s a consistent theme. In baseball it’s eventually going to bite you. We have Gardiner first and then we go down to play Bessey. I guarantee you if you don’t score when you need to they’ll take advantage of you.” 

The Pratt brothers delivered a pair of key two-out hits in the fourth to break a 1-1 tie with the Ducks (3-7). Following a walk to Corey Rogers to load the bases, Ryan Pratt lined a two-run single to right field, plating Colton Lawrence and Evan Roberts. 

“They seem to find the right moment and they’re both having a good year,” Gunzinger said. “Ryan’s was big and that little extra insurance is huge.”

Andrew Pratt followed with an RBI single to center to score Rogers and give the Flyers (9-1) a 4-1 lead. It was the only hit of the afternoon for Andrew Pratt. 

“It was a 2-1 pitch, looking for a good pitch to hit,” Andrew Pratt said. “He threw me a curveball in the middle of the plate and I shot it right up the middle. I stayed back on it. I chased a few pitches earlier so it was good that I got a good pitch to hit there. It drove in a big run to create a little bit of separation.” 

Ryan Pratt scored the game’s first run in the top of the first on a throwing error at short. He led off with a five-pitch walk and stole second during his brother’s at-bat. Anthony Franchetti’s sharp grounder to short led to an errant thrown, allowing Ryan Pratt to touch home. 

The Ducks responded in the bottom half as Jake O’Neill crushed a double to deep left-center and came around to score on Liam Brannigan’s sacrifice fly to center with the bases loaded. 

Highland Green managed two hits in the opening frame, but just one over the final five innings. The final 16 batters failed to record a hit with only two reaching base.

“We’ve been struggling to hit the ball even in the high school season,” Highland Green coach Bob Neron said. “When you don’t hit it puts a lot of pressure on your pitcher and defense to be perfect and let’s face it at this level you’re not going to be perfect. But they’re a good team. They’ve beaten some good teams over there.” 

Ryan Pratt picked up the win in his second start of the season, allowing one run on three hits, striking out five and walking two. He retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced. 

“I started mixing in more pitches in the later innings, like throwing my curve and fastball for strikes after the first inning,” Ryan Pratt said. “They were really hitting the fastball well.” 

Highland Green’s Kevin Carter suffered the loss on the mound. He pitched into the sixth, allowing four runs on five hits, striking out four and walking five. He was lifted with no outs in the sixth for Reilly Kons after back-to-back walks. 


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