A good chunk of the wins the Franklin baseball team mustered this season have required staying the course and believing.
After recognizing their eight seniors before their last home game Monday against Eastern Tech, the No. 13 Indians proved just how resilient a bunch they are.
Franklin overcame a three-run deficit, scoring single runs in the fifth and sixth innings before scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh to seal a 5-4 win over the Mavericks.
Ross Silver's single up the middle drove in the tying run and the winning run came across after Marquis Miller's sharp grounder glanced off the glove of Eastern Tech second baseman Adam Ulrich.
In improving to 15-2 on the season, the Indians scratched across five runs on only three hits against Eastern Tech starter Josh Pritchard. Brian Doyle, who worked two scoreless inning in relief, got the win for the Indians.
"It's been that way all year long honestly — we just find a way to win time and time again," Franklin coach Kyle Campbell said. "We tell the kids to just compete and battle our way back. It's all heart and believing in ourselves.
After the visiting Mavericks (12-6) plated their first three batters in the first inning — Eric Randolph's two-run single the key hit — the Indians found themselves needing to rally.
In the second inning, a walk, two-base throwing error and Miller's sacrifice fly cut the Mavericks' lead to 3-1. Trailing 4-1, Franklin scored another unearned run in the fifth inning and then got a run-scoring single from Jordan Lee — their first hit — in the sixth to pull within one.
After Doyle retired the Mavericks in order in the top of the seventh, the Indians found another way to bring home a win with Silver's key hit and Miller's good contact. First baseman J.J. Skaro had two walks and scored twice — including the game-winner.
Franklin has earned the top seed in Class 3A North Section 1 play. Gordon said his team's knack for coming from behind will pay dividends in the palyoffs.
"It's very important," he said. "You never know what can happen in the playoffs — you might find yourself down, you might find yourself up — and you have to be able to put a team away. It speaks to the character of all the seniors that we have on the team. We have eight and they've just taken the leadership role on and believed every single time we've been out there that we're going to come back."
Eastern Tech designated hitter Dalton Decker doubled, scored a run and drove in another. Eastern Tech coach Spike McElfish said his Mavericks are young and still learning.
"Sloppy game and it is what it is, Franklin is a good team. I've said from the beginning we're a work in progress with only three seniors," he said. "So, we're getting there and we'll be fine come Friday when we get into [the region playoffs]. We need to play competition like this — we're learning and we'll be all right."
No. 14 Franklin 5, No. 13 Eastern Tech 4
ET 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 -- 4 5 4
F 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 -- 5 3 4
Pritchard and Gwinn; Silver, Doyle (6) and Helphenstine.
2B: ET – Gwinn, Randolph
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article mispelled Marquis Miller's name and misidentified the Franklin and Eastern Tech baseball coaches.