Walk-off win against Falls Lake keeps playoff hopes alive for Patriots | The Wake Weekly
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Baseball

Walk-off win against Falls Lake keeps playoff hopes alive for Patriots

Posted on June 8, 2021

School SportsSports
Chris Dieterle tries to make contact with the ball for Falls Lake Academy.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Chris Dieterle tries to make contact with the ball for Falls Lake Academy.

Franklin Academy's Seth Wilkerson makes the throw to first base to get the out.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Franklin Academy's Seth Wilkerson makes the throw to first base to get the out.

Franklin Academy's Jeremy Pearsall makes the catch for the out. The sophomore recorded two hits, one RBI and one run in the win against Falls Lake Academy.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Franklin Academy's Jeremy Pearsall makes the catch for the out. The sophomore recorded two hits, one RBI and one run in the win against Falls Lake Academy.

Caleb Ayers hit the walk-off single for Franklin Academy to give the Patriots the 4-3 win against Falls Lake Academy.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Caleb Ayers hit the walk-off single for Franklin Academy to give the Patriots the 4-3 win against Falls Lake Academy.

Keyon Green watches a high fast ball coming toward the plate.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Keyon Green watches a high fast ball coming toward the plate.

Stephen Dunlow pitches for the Falls Lake Academy Firebirds against Franklin Academy on Monday.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Stephen Dunlow pitches for the Falls Lake Academy Firebirds against Franklin Academy on Monday.

The Firebird hitter swings away in the game against Franklin Academy.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

The Firebird hitter swings away in the game against Franklin Academy.

Chris Dieterle tries to make contact with the ball for Falls Lake Academy.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Chris Dieterle tries to make contact with the ball for Falls Lake Academy.

Franklin Academy's Seth Wilkerson makes the throw to first base to get the out.

Marty Simpkins | The Wake Weekly

Franklin Academy's Seth Wilkerson makes the throw to first base to get the out.

Franklin Academy's Seth Wilkerson makes the throw to first base to get the out.
Franklin Academy's Jeremy Pearsall makes the catch for the out. The sophomore recorded two hits, one RBI and one run in the win against Falls Lake Academy.
Caleb Ayers hit the walk-off single for Franklin Academy to give the Patriots the 4-3 win against Falls Lake Academy.
Keyon Green watches a high fast ball coming toward the plate.
Stephen Dunlow pitches for the Falls Lake Academy Firebirds against Franklin Academy on Monday.
The Firebird hitter swings away in the game against Franklin Academy.
Chris Dieterle tries to make contact with the ball for Falls Lake Academy.

marty@wakeweekly.com

WAKE FOREST — Franklin Academy’s baseball team is still in the hunt for the 1A state playoffs after a 4-3 walk-off win against Falls Lake Academy at home Monday.

The Patriots trailed 2-0 after the first inning. Franklin Academy scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning off an RBI single from Jeremy Pearsall to bring Braden Bayer home.

In the top of the fourth, Falls Lake extended its lead to 3-1 after stealing home plate off a wild pitch from Franklin Academy’s Caleb Ayers. That was the last mistake Ayers made as the Patriots locked down on defense from there.

Bayer grounded out in the fourth inning, but Jaxon Raynor ran home off the fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to 3-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, Ayers hit an RBI single to bring home Pearsall for the game tying run at 3-3. Both teams went three and out in the next innings.

In the bottom of the seventh with two outs and a runner on third base, Ayers stepped up to the plate. He hit a line drive between first and second base. Derek Overstreet ran home to give Franklin Academy the 4-3 win.

Franklin Academy head coach Edwin Genao said Ayers’ pitching improved after the fourth inning and the defense played better behind him to help give the Patriots the chance for a comeback win.

“Caleb Ayers is a workhorse,” Genao said. “He’s one of our top pitchers. He became more of a pitcher than a thrower over the last few innings. He allowed his defense to work for him. The rest of the team continued to get one run at a time. The team was super engaged. It was a good win for the team.”

Pearsall had a decent game with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. However, Genao said the game ball went to Ayers for not only getting the walk-off hit, but for also pitching the first six innings.

“Caleb is a sophomore and he’s already a team captain, so that should say a lot about him,” Genao said. “He always has a positive attitude. He has the best work ethic on the team. It showed today. His maturity showed today. I’m super proud of him.”

With the win, Franklin Academy improved to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in North Central conference play. The Patriots have to win out the rest of the season if they want to jump ahead in the conference standings and snag a playoff spot.

“A win like this is huge for us,” Genao said. “Falls Lake is one of the top teams in the conference. We have two more games and if we do well in both of them, we might squeeze into the 1A state playoffs.”

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