Root leads Trojans over Franklin, 5-2By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Oak Ridge improved to 3-0 on the season Thursday with a 5-2 win over Franklin.
Austin Root scattered six hits and struck out nine, while the Trojans received hits from eight of the nine players in the lineup.
Root picked up his second win of the season with his second straight strong performance. Root showed Franklin who was in control of the game early, striking out six of the first nine batters he faced. While he allowed singled runs in the fourth and fifth innings, he finished strong, striking out two of three batters in the seventh inning to close out the game.
“That’s what Austin does,” Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said. “Teams may touch him up, but he manages situations well and when you look at the scoreboard, you don’t see too many crooked numbers up there.”
For his part, Root said he felt good the entire game, as his fastball, slider and change up were all effective.
“I thought it went well,” Root said. “The team played well. The key for me was getting the ball inside on hitters. They were swinging over top of it and I was getting strikeouts.”
After a quiet first two innings, Oak Ridge put two runs on the board in the third thanks to contributions from the bottom of the order. FP Santangelo and John Rico singled and moved up on Mickey Meinhofer’s ground ball. Franklin first baseman Tyler Blake tried to get Santangelo at third, but his throw was low and got by the third baseman and both Santangelo and Rico came around to score.
Oak Ridge picked up another run in the fourth inning. Ross Dwelley was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Tanner Ales followed with a single. After Logan Marston flied out, Chris Roppolo singled to score Dwelley.
The Wildcats made it 4-1 in the bottom of the inning with three singles, but Root got out of the inning with a double play.
Both teams scored single runs in the fifth inning, Oak Ridge’s coming on an RBI single by Alec de Watteville, scoring Meinhofer, who singled. Franklin scored on a single, double, hit by pitch and fielder’s choice. Again, Root limited the damage to a single run.
The Trojans scored one final run in the seventh when Logan Denholm doubled, moved to third on an error and scored on Dwelley’s sacrifice fly.
Denholm and Santangelo had a pair of hits for the Trojans, while Meinhofer and Dwelley each scored and knocked in a run.