July 3, 2013

AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL: Bacon guts out a win

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FARMINGTON -- A lot of things combined to get Madison pitcher Taylor Bacon madder by the second on Wednesday night. That was very good news for Madison.

Bacon gave up three runs in the first inning, got the threat of a hook from coach Peter Kirby, and took a hard line drive off his leg. After that, he was dominant, and Madison rode his pitching to a 7-4 victory over

Franklin County in American Legion Zone 2 Baseball action at Hippach Field.

Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Bacon took a shot just below the knee off the bat of Blake Hart. First baseman Chase Nelson got the out on the play, and Bacon struck out the next two batters.

"I hurt, but I was pretty mad at my performance that far, so I just wanted to bear down," Bacon said. "I didn't talk to my coach at all. I just told him, 'Leave me alone.' I got mad after that, and I just didn't want them touching the ball again."

Franklin County (4-6) seemingly found every gap in the defense in the first inning, as the Flyers brought home three runs on five hits. Ryan Greenman and Ryan Pratt opened the inning with back-to-back line-drive singles. After a forceout, Matt Crowley, Scott Hall, and Charlie Martin all fell behind in the count 0-2. But Crowley poked a single through the right side, Hall bounced one through the middle, and Martin laced an RBI double to left-center field for the third run.

"After that bad inning, I said, 'One more hit, and you're done,'" Kirby said. "He's the type of kid, when he gets a little upset and mad, he kind of picks it up a little bit."

Bacon went five innings, and allowed six hits. He retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced.

The 39ers (6-4) did little to beat down the door until it was opened for them in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back infield errors brought home one run, and Madison started drilling the ball. Kam Nelson (3 for 3 with a walk) doubled to deep left, Derek LeBlanc roped an RBI single, and Jon Swett drove in two more runs with a stinging single up the middle to make it 5-3.

Swett promptly scored on Trevor Hisler's booming triple to left, and even the final out took a diving catch by Cam Abbott at second base. Still, Franklin committed four errors in the inning, and all six runs were unearned.

"It started to domino, and one thing turned to another," Franklin coach Kyle Gunzinger said. "We just didn't play well that one inning. But give them credit -- they took advantage of everything."

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243

mdifilippo@mainetoday.com

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