East Franklin wins first-ever junior high baseball tourney

The East Franklin Rebels won their first-ever junior high baseball Franklin County Championship this weekend, beating Phil Campbell 2-1 on a dramatic last play of the game.

East Franklin had built a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, which started with a single up the middle by Matthew Hubbard. Hubbard had advanced to second base on a steal before scoring on an RBI-single by Cohl Welborn. Welborn then stole second base and scored on a single by Keaton Baker.

On the last play of the game, with Phil Campbell at bat and the bases loaded down 2-1, a third-strike pitch by Trace Duboise got by catcher Blake Baker. The ball bounced off the concrete wall back to Baker, who recovered and dove toward home plate to tag the Bobcat baserunner for the third out and the win.

“I am so proud of how far this team has come from the beginning of the season,” said East Franklin Coach Jason Cooper. “They have worked hard this season. They are more of a family than a team, with each one encouraging the other after a mistake.

“These players have grown so much during the year, with multiple ones stepping up to say the prayer before a game,” Cooper added. “East Franklin is a great community, and these young men have represented them well all year. It is a great feeling to be a part of making history for East Franklin.”

Welborn started the game for the Rebels and pitched four and two-thirds innings, allowing two hits and one run and striking out nine. Duboise got the save.

Welborn also went two-for-three at the plate with an RBI.

Keaton Baker went one-for-two with an RBI. Hubbard went one-for-two, and Isaac Duboise was one-for-three.

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