WATERVILLE — Jimmy Neal didn’t pitch all that much at Lyndon State College this spring. But he’s certainly pitched enough to know what’s working.

Neal, one of the few veterans on the Franklin County roster, kept it simple to stay in command against Waterville on Tuesday evening. Neal gave up seven hits, but all were singles, and he coasted to a 5-1 American Legion baseball Zone 2 victory.

“I was throwing pretty much just a fastball and a curveball,” Neal said. “My curveball, at times, was working out for me. I was able to keep it low in the zone, which got a few hitters to chase it. My fastball, I was able to hit some spots with it.

“So those two pitches alone worked out for me. Other nights, I might mix in a change-up or a slider, something like that.”

The game was played at Waterville Junior High School because pesticides are being sprayed at the high school to put in new grass for the fall season, according to Waterville coach Eli Fitzgerald.

The field actually had an impact in the top of the first inning. Ryan Greenman led off with an infield single, and Waterville pitcher Brian Bellows tried to pick him off first base. The throw got away, and Waterville right fielder Nate Gromek thought the ball was out of play, so Greenman was able to scoot all the way home for a 1-0 lead.

Waterville (2-5) committed five more errors the rest of the way. The Beavers were playing with something of a makeshift lineup, highlighted by J.T. Whitten at shortstop. Bellows gave up four runs in five innings, but three were unearned.

“It was really kind of out of the ordinary for us,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re usually pretty sharp out there. We had to move a few guys around today to get guys some innings, but we definitely need to clean that up a little bit.”

Franklin County (2-4) also hit pretty well, with eight of the nine starters getting at least one hit. Andrew Pratt and Charlie Martin each had two hits, and the Flyers legged out their last run when Cam Abbott scored on a double steal.

The Flyers also made more clean plays. When Waterville’s Josh Gormley reached on an error in the fourth inning, right fielder Ryan Pratt backed up the play and threw Tom Cox out at the plate. When Aidan Fitzgerald tried to bunt his way on in the third, Neal pounced on the ball quickly and first baseman Charlie Martin made a nice stretch to secure the out.

“We’re very, very young,” Franklin County coach Kyle Gunzinger said. “I think our median age is about 15 and a half. We’ve been within three (runs) of everybody. There’ a bright future there, and they’re playing well.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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