By PATRICK CASEY
The Freeport Bulldogs scored nine runs in the first two innings as they defeated the Paxton Bobcats 9-4 in a Wednesday afternoon contest last week.
The Bulldogs, who are 14-6 overall this season after defeating Ponce de Leon on Friday 9-8, and 7-1 in District 1 of Class 2A and in the hunt for the top seed for the district tournament as they enter this week’s final two district games.
Coach Gene Martin has the squad playing exceptionally well, as the Bulldogs’ only loss in district competition came to Jay 5-4 in eight innings in a game played at Jay on March 18.
The Bulldogs have a showdown with the Royals at home on Friday, April 11, at 6 p.m.
Against Paxton, Freeport blistered the ball in the first two innings as Cole Weeks cleared the bases with a bases-loaded double in the first inning to build a 5-0 lead. The Bulldogs added four more runs in the second inning as five consecutive hits off Paxton starter Dan Geoghagan built the lead to 9-0.
Paxton settled down to keep the Bulldogs off the scoreboard the rest of the way as the Bobcats scrapped for four runs over the middle innings to cut the deficit to 9-4 after five innings of play.
Freeport’s Michael Grazianni went the distance for the Bulldogs as he struck out eight batters in picking up the win.
Seven of Freeport’s nine starters picked up hits in the game and the Bulldogs took advantage of two Paxton errors to help build the lead.
Jesse Crawford had three hits for the Bobcats while Freeport’s Drew Farris had a pair of hits for the Bulldogs.
Game Notes: Paxton had a rough week during spring break after losing at Central 16-0, then running into a hot Freeport team for a 9-4 loss. Paxton is one of the younger teams in the area, but still will be capable of making a run in the District 1, Class A tournament which will be held at OWC. Freeport defeated PDL 9-8 as C.J. Bates drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday. Freeport will likely have to beat Jay to earn the top seed. A loss to the Royals will likely set up a third meeting with PDL in a district semi-final in two weeks. Freeport will host the District 1, Class 2A tournament from April 21-24.