COLUMBIANA, OH- Chase Franken settled in after a rough start to the 2019 campaign going the distance as Columbiana defeated East Palestine 5-2 here at frigid Firestone Park. After the Bulldogs scored two unearned in the first and threatened in the second, Franken retired 16 of the last 17 en route to complete game win. He struck out 11 and walked two.
The Bulldogs had an aggressive mindset at the plate. Connor Elliot hit the first pitch of the game to left center for a double and scored on a ball that got through the left side. With two out, another error allowed Dalton Vance to score for an early 2-0 advantage. However, Sean Helpy gave up two walks to start the bottom of the second which set up the Clippers’ go-ahead inning. Wayne Davis had the big hit. His knock scored Zach Pleska, and Erik Hopfenziz followed after a throwing error. Davis then scored on a wild pitch to put the Clippers ahead for good 3-2. They added single runs in the fourth and sixth as junior Ryan Fahs had an RBI single.
There weren’t many hard-hit balls as a cold, biting wind made it very difficult for both teams at the plate. Helpy was the hard-luck loser as he pitched effectively into the sixth.
The Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference and Route 14 rivals will meet again in East Palestine at the Next Level complex on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
**Written by YSN’s Voice of Columbiana: Mark Franken**