Stone Peddycord is more than halfway through his third and final season as the starting second baseman for the Franklin High School baseball program.

A newer responsibility for senior is his role as the team’s leadoff hitter.

“I like leading off because you can set the tempo for the whole game. If you get a leadoff hit it really helps your team to get the momentum,” Peddycord said.

“I think it’s just being smart. Usually you’re going to get a first-pitch fastball, and if it’s there do what you can with it.”

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Peddycord has been Franklin’s leadoff hitter the past two seasons. As a sophomore he hit second, sixth or seventh.

Baseball savvy, more than blazing speed, is the reason Peddycord was moved to the top of the lineup.

“He’s not your typical leadoff hitter in that he’s not the fastest guy on the team,” said Grizzly Cubs coach Ryan Feyerabend, whose team takes a 10-10 record (6-3 in the Mid-State Conference) into Tuesday’s game at Decatur Central.

“He’s aggressive and he rarely strikes out. Stone almost always puts the bat on the ball. His approach is that he’s always been a contact guy. And he’s a quality second baseman. Just one of those guys where you know what you’re going to get every day.”

Peddycord is hitting .265. Defensively, he has recorded 40 putouts and helped turn six double plays in the team’s first 20 games.

In other words, Stone has been a rock for Franklin, which has been at or near the top of the Mid-State Conference standings this season.

Ranked fifth on the team in batting average among Franklin’s everyday players, Peddycord leads in at-bats (68) and is near the top in runs (14) and hits (18).

He has five multi-hit games this season, including a 4-for-5 performance in a 29-0 obliteration of Indianapolis Herron in mid-April.

“Stone is a guy who doesn’t say much, but competes hard every day. He’s the guy at the top of our lineup for a reason,” Feyerabend said. “He will compete and give us a quality first at-bat to get things started.”

Peddycord also played football at Franklin as a receiver/cornerback. He finished the season with seven catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Peddycord chipped in 14 tackles.

His time in organized athletics likely ends at the conclusion of Franklin’s baseball season. Peddycord, who is in the top 10 of his class academically with a 4.24 grade-point average, plans to attend Indiana University, where he will major in chemistry.

Looking even more long term, Peddycord hopes to make it to medical school.

In baseball and in life, he’s always looking to take the next base.

The Peddycord file

Name: Stone Peddycord

Age: 18

Born: Franklin

Family: Parents Dustin and Whitney; sister Brooklyn, 16

Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite movie: “Space Jam”

Favorite athlete: Stephen Curry

Favorite team: Golden State Warriors

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.