Franklin township's 13-15 year old Babe ruth All-Stars suffered a pair of setbacks over the weekend to end their state title bid.
BABE RUTH 13-15
Franklin Township-Keystone West
Franklin's game against Keystone West was pivotal.
A win, and the team would advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive year.
A loss, and the team would be sent home.
A back-and-forth battle ensued, with each team matching the other run-for-run until the ninth inning. Keystone did just enough in the deciding frame, scoring one run to take a 4-3 win and eliminate Franklin from the tournament.
"We knew going in that we had a chance to secure a spot in the semifinals," Franklin coach Brad Niehoff said. "We got off to a good start, scoring runs in the first three innings. But our bats were just quiet the rest of the game."
Franklin's offense was hot early, as KJ Snerr led off with a double to get into scoring position. Snerr moved to third on a Keystone error and eventually scored on Wyatt Clements' sacrifice.
But Keystone would answer in the bottom of the inning with a run of its own to tie the game 1-1.
Franklin would take a 3-1 lead through three innings before Keystone would cut it to 3-2 in the fourth and eventually tie it 3-3 in the sixth.
That's how it would stay until the ninth, when Keystone would capitalize on a runner in scoring position with a base it to win the game.
While the loss was disappointing for Niehoff, the satisfaction of knowing he has one of the best teams in the state trumps any disappointment.
"I was really hoping to make it to the Final Four again and I'm disappointed that didn't happen," Niehoff said. "But I'm so proud of these kids. I felt like we could have done more but I think that was a good learning experience."
Offensive highlights for Franklin includes Brady Niehoff, who went 3-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases and a run scored. Ben Cordova, KJ Snerr and Daniel Keer each chipped in one hit. Ryan Malarkey added two hits and a walk.
Franklin's Jordan McElmoyle pitched seven strong innings for Franklin in the loss.
Franklin 111 000 000 - 3 8 4
Keystone 100 101 001 - 4 11 5
Franklin suffered its first loss of the 13-15 PA State Babe Ruth Tournament with a 12-2 setback to Broomall-Newtown.
Franklin got on the board early with a run in the opening frame. With one out, KJ Snerr grounded a single to left and Wyatt Clements followed with a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second. Brady Niehoff then stepped up and delivered a line-drive single to centerfield to plate Snerr.
But the lead was short lived, as Broomall-Newtown answered with two runs in the bottom first, which gave them a lead they would never relinquish.
Franklin starter Daniel Keer battled to keep the game close, but struggled with his command from the outset. Broomall would add a run to its lead in the third inning on two singles and two walks.
An inning later, a walk and four straight singles would spell the end of the road for Keer. Franklin turned to reliever Ryan McCullough to escape the jam. McCullough would work out of the predicament, but the damage was already done as Broomall increased its lead to 6-1.
It looked as if Franklin would get back into the game in the top fifth after Donovan Buchinsky hit a bullet down the leftfield line to open the inning with a double. Ryan McCullough would then put down a perfect bunt to put runners on first and third. However, Broomall's pitcher got a double play and another groundout to get out of the inning and keep the lead at 6-2.
Broomall-Newtown would then add three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to invoke the 10-run rule.
The loss moved Franklin to 2-1 in pool play and set up the crucial game against Keystone West.
Franklin 100 010 - 2 4 2
Broomall 201 333 - 12 11 1
Keer, McCullough (4), Snerr and KJ Snerr, Clements (6). W - Hahn. L - Keer.
Panther Vy. 11-12
Towamensing Blue-Jim Thorpe Blue
Towamensing Blue used the long ball to squeak past Jim Thorpe Blue by a 6-4 margin.
Logan Kresge paced the offense for Towamensing, going 2-for-4 with a grand slam. Kresge also picked up the win on the mound. Matt Doherty chipped in a home run while going 3-for-4 in the win.
Trevor Hickey had a two-run homer for Jim Thorpe.
Weatherly used solid pitching and timely hitting to narrowly defeat Tamaqua White, 4-2.
Weatherly's Nick Berger pitched 5 innings in the contest, allowing only two earned runs and five hits. Mason Gerhart, Jeremy Moser, Steph Yurchak and Joel Hinkle all had hits and scored runs for Weatherly.
Lucas Gregoire and Derek Sayetta both scored runs for Tamaqua.
Tamaqua Blue-Anthracite White
Tamaqua used a 13-run inning fifth inning a potent offense to roll past Anthracite White, 17-5.
Tamaqua's Hamm, Scherer and Knoblauch hit homers to open the scoring early in the contest. All three also added doubles.
Boyle had three hits and Moyer and Bonetsky both chipped in two hits apiece.
Tamaqua Blue-Jim Thorpe Blue
Tamaqua Blue held on for the win over Jim Thorpe Blue, 10-7
For Tamaqua, Scherer and Boyle each launched two homers with Gazdick adding a home run of his own. Hamm also chipped in two hits for Tamaqua.
For Jim Thorpe, DeMarco and Schwartz had two hits.