Local roundup: M.O.T.-Red forces second Pat Knight title game

M.O.T.-Red edged Camden-Wyoming, 4-3, on Thursday night to force a second game for the title in District I’s Pat Knight baseball tournament.

The same two teams will play again today at 7 p.m. at Milford to decide the title.

The loss was the first of the tourney for Camden-Wyoming (3-1) while M.O.T.-Red improved to 4-1 after winning its fourth game in a row.

The Middletown-area squad reached the finals with an 11-7 victory over M.O.T.-Blue on Wednesday night. Pitcher Tim Whichard got a bases-loaded strikeout to end the contest.

For M.O.T.-Red, Clif Bakhsh (2 hits), Jason Timpson, Larry Romjue and Seth Correll all scored twice while Whichard hit a two-run double.

Cameron Crowe (2 hits, 2 runs), Matthew Bublitz, Logan Peters, Jude Collins, and Chase Holston all had RBI for M.O.T.-Blue.

Senior League

Smyrna-Clayton 18, Milford 0: Connor Bartlett and Derek Davis combined to pitch a four-inning one-hitter with six strikeouts as Smyrna-Clayton opened the District I tournament with a victory.

Davis also went 3-for-3, with a double, and scored three runs for Smyrna-Clayton, which faces Dover today at 8:30 p.m. at Camden-Wyoming. Also leading the way were Shawn Mannering (3-for-4, 4 runs) and Casey Murray (2-for-2).

Layne Smith had a double for Milford, which plays again on Saturday evening.

American Legion

Smyrna Post-14 8, Nanticocke Post-6 5: Smyrna improved to 5-3 with the victory in a South Division matchup on Thursday night.

College basketball

Horton leaving Hens: The Delaware men’s basketball team is losing one of its top young players with the news on Thursday that freshman guard Ithiel Horton has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

ESPN’s Jeff Borzello first tweeted the news with university officials later confirming it.

It’s the second straight off-season that the Blue Hens have had a top young guard transfer out of the program. Last spring, sophomore guard Ryan Daly — a former CAA Rookie of the Year — announced he was leaving, eventually transferring to St. Joseph’s.

Horton was a CAA all-Rookie team selection last year after averaging 13.2 points per game. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder sank a school-record nine three-pointers while tying a UD freshman record with 31 points in a win at UNC-Wilmington.

Next season Delaware is slated to return seven players while adding two freshmen and three transfers, who will be eligible to play next season.

College softball

Franquet named DSU coach: Jeffrey Franquet, who has 14 years experience as a college head coach, has been named Delaware State’s new head coach.

Franquet’s most-successful stretch was at Central Connecticut State (2009-13) where he led the Blue Devils to 115 victories, making him the program’s winningest coach.

In 2013, Central Connecticut won 36 games, captured the program’s Northeast Conference title and then posted a victory in the NCAA Division I tournament.

From 2007-09, Franquet served as the first full-time head coach at Georgian Court University. His tenure there was highlighted by three consecutive conference championships, three NCAA Division II Tournament berths and an NCAA Super Regional appearance.

His resume also includes a three-year stint as the first head coach at Jacksonville (Fla.) University from 2003-05. From 2000-02, Franquet was head coach at Central Florida Community College, where he transformed a four-win team into a junior college powerhouse that won 40 games.

DelState athletic director Scott Gines is confident Franquet can get the Hornets turned around. DSU went 10-32 this past spring.

“Jeff’s teams are characterized by command and consistency in the circle; situational hitters who know how to create the big inning; and a defense that plays catch and denies the big inning,” said Gines. “Coach Franquet is a high-energy teacher-coach who brings great passion to his player development and recruiting.”

Prior to his coaching career, Franquet was a standout international men’s fastpitch softball player in the United States and New Zealand.

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