Minden’s season came to an end Tuesday night against Franklinton, as the Crimson Tide fell 9-5 to the Demons.
The Tide fought tooth-and-nail to get back in the game after falling behind 5-1 in the early going.
Minden starting pitcher John Volentine got the nod to try and tackle a Franklinton lineup ripe with contact hitters, but was less-effective in this outing than he had been during the regular season when his slow-breakers were thwarting opposition. Still, Volentine made it to the fourth inning before being pulled for senior Matt Eskew who battled the Demons until the final out was recorded.
For Eskew, and fellow seniors Austin Wall and Greg Herman, it was the final time to lace up the cleats in high school. Eskew made it count, going 4-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Minden began their comeback from the 5-1 deficit with a RBI single from Eskew, followed by a towering two-RBI double to the deepest part of centerfield from third baseman Hunter Wilkes to make the score 5-4.
The next batter, Trevor McLean, tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI double and the Minden bench erupted. However, the elation was short-lived, as Franklinton hung four runs on the board in the top of the seventh inning to erase all the work Minden had done to get back in it.
Minden went quietly in the bottom half to end the game and a roller-coaster season in terms of W’s, L’s and wild comeback.
“There hasn’t been a time all year we haven’t fought back,” Tide coach Dean Francis said. “For our seniors, I hope they take something they learned in this program and go on to be good men. The future is bright here. A lot of young guys got in and we’re excited going forward . . . I’d like to thank the community, our sponsors and everyone who supported us all season.”