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Francis leads Indians to split with Seaman

By Joel Jellison

Derek Francis did a little of everything for the Manhattan High baseball team on Tuesday at Norvell Field.

In the first game of the doubleheader, Francis pitched a two-hit, complete-game shutout as the Indians won 2-0 over Seaman, but he was strong at the plate too. Francis drove in both runs, had a double and a solo home run.

The Indians (9-3) lost the second game to Seaman, 9-0.

Francis picked up his first RBI in Game 1 in the third inning, delivering a sac fly to bring Josh Mullin around to score. He put the game away with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, and shut down the Vikings on the mound in the seventh.

MHS coach Don Hess said Francis performed well all around.

“Derek wanted the ball, and that’s a difference — he wanted the ball in his hands,” he said. “Slowly we are starting to see some of our pitchers take that responsibility. If they want it in their hands, we will give it to them. He threw a terrific game against a good team.”

The Indians finished with four team hits in Game 1, and despite finishing with five hits in Game 2, scoring seemed to get tougher.

Manhattan had chances to score in the first three innings, but never put hits together at the right time.

“We had several runners on base in the first three innings and we didn’t get anyone across,” Hess said. “We need to do a better job of that because ultimately when you don’t get runs across, the hitters start to press a little.”

Seaman, meanwhile, took advantage with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth, most of which came with two outs.

The Vikings added a run in the sixth and scored three runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach.

Ryan Columbo pitched a complete-game shutout for the Vikings, while TJ Giller took the loss for the Indians. Trey Francis had the only extra-base hit for the Indians with a double, while Seaman finished with 14 hits.

Hess said the second game all came down to the struggles at the plate.

“We didn’t play our best the second game, they probably didn’t feel like they played their best the first game — it’s two good teams,” he said. “Really for us the tale of that game was we just didn’t do a very good job hitting the baseball.

“We’ve got some guys that are struggling right now and we are very inconsistent and that’s causing us some problems at the plate.”

Although they have struggled to put together two solid games in a few doubleheaders this year, Hess said the team is gaining invaluable experience, and learning as it goes.

“We don’t have a lot of retuning experience this year, we are young and even the guys that are older are coming off junior varsity,” he said. “We just lack intense varsity-game experience, and it shows at times.

“As we move along these guys will gain confidence and an understanding of where to throw the ball, how to throw the ball, what to look for at the plate and things like that. It’s a work in progress and we’re going to have to keep plugging away.”

The Indians will play at Hayden on Friday and will return home next Tuesday for a doubleheader with Shawnee Heights.


Seaman   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 — 0 2 0

Manhattan   0 0 1   0 0 1   X — 2 4 0

WP — D. Francis. LP — Rea

2B — D. Francis. HR — D. Francis.



Seaman   0 0 0   2 3 1   3 - 9 14 0

Manhattan   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 - 0 5 2

WP — Columbo. LP — Giller.

2B — T. Francis.

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