COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – It wasn’t just any pregame meeting at home plate between coaches on Thursday. It was a meeting between father and son.
“Be there with my dad in that special moment, typically you just shake the guy’s hand but having my dad there, we had to hug it out a little bit,” said Columbiana head coach Bryce Franken.
Bryce is the new head coach at his alma mater. In his second game, he squared off against his dad Mark’s Heartland Christian squad.
“It was a pretty awesome experience to have this game against him, especially with it being my first home game,” Bryce said.
“That was pretty cool,” Mark said. “It is his mom’s birthday, that added to it. She was probably rooting for him.”
If that was the case, things looked good for Bryce and his mom early, jumping on the Lions. But Heartland would chip away, take a lead and add insurance runs late to grab a 10-6 win. Afterward, competing father and son had a moment near the home dugout.
“Probably a bittersweet moment for him honestly,” Bryce said. “He just told me that he loved me and that things will work out and get better. We are early, it is March, we want to be playing our best baseball at the end of May.”
“A lot of emotions, I am very happy,” Mark said. “I am very competitive, so I am happy we won, happy for our kids. But like I said, he is just starting, his first home game. I feel bad a little bit for him, but he will be OK.”
For now, bragging rights go to dad, something he won’t soon let son forget, but there is a rematch around the corner.
“Like I said, he will have his time, but it wasn’t tonight,” Mark said.
“Now he has some bragging rights at Easter I guess,” Bryce said. “May 5, like I said, we want to play our best ball in May and we see him again May 5, so that will be a revenge tour for sure.”