Old scorebooks, part 4: Franklin County’s upset for the ages

May 26, 2016 FieldsColumn

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I’ve witnessed a lot of upsets over the last 40+ years, and my memory of most of them is blurry. One upset that is still clear — and still shocking — came in baseball 23 years ago this week.

On May 25, 1993, defending state champion and No. 1-ranked Lafayette, boasting a star-studded lineup and a 33-5 record, lost to unranked Franklin County, sporting a 14-21 record, in the first round of the 11th Region baseball tournament at EKU.

Franklin County trailed 4-1 with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh inning, but then the world turned upside down and the Flyers rallied for a 5-4 victory.

“Miracle is the only word to describe it,” winning pitcher Billy Taylor said after the game.

“Yes, I guess it was a miracle,” added Franklin County Coach Ben Zimmerman.

After Lafayette scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead,  Franklin County’s first two batters in the bottom of the 7th struck out.

Then things went wacky.

Franklin County loaded the bases with a walk, single and error, and Derrick Thurman followed with a three-run double to tie it 4-4.

Lafayette then intentionally walked Taylor to get to eighth-grader Will Crumbaugh. The strategy failed. Crumbaugh hit a hard grounder to short, but Rob Hauswald bobbled the ball and threw wildly to first. James Jacobs, pinch-running for Thurman, raced home with the winning run.

It was an upset for the ages, and Lafayette’s hopes for a fourth state title in six years were crushed.

Lafayette didn’t pitch senior ace Curtis Whitney, looking to save him for later in the tournament. Generals’ senior Aaron McDowell started and took the loss, his first in 19 career decisions.

Here are the scorebook pages for Lafayette and Franklin County. Sorry that my handwriting looks like hieroglyphics. 

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