Franklin Hurricanes crush LN
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Sean Green of the Franklin Hurricanes easily beats the throw while stealing second base against Lower Nazareth Township. Franklin whipped Lower Nazareth, 22-3.
Tuesday night's Senior Babe Ruth playoff game between Lower Nazareth Township and Franklin Township became ugly to watch.
Then again, it could have been considered beautiful depending on which team was doing the watching.
From Franklin Township's perspective, it was definitely a view to behold.
The Hurricanes romped Lower Nazareth 22-3 in its National League losers' bracket playoff game. After scoring two runs in the first, the Canes went on to score five, five and ten runs over the next three innings to turn the game into a laugher.
"Coming out and hitting the ball in the playoffs like this is a good start for us," said Franklin manager Ricky Strohl. "Hopefully we can keep it going.
"I am hoping this gets us on a roll and we can keep hitting the ball like this. Dane (Ciaveralla) threw good tonight too and we had some good pitching. All around it was a good game."
Although Franklin did pound out 16 hits on the night, it was aided tremendously by some horrid Nazareth pitching. Four Nazareth pitchers combined to walk 11 batters, hit three others and throw a number of wild pitches.
The Nazareth defense didn't help its cause either. Nazareth committed four errors in the field and misplayed a few others that allowed the Canes to leg out extra-base hits. Things got so bad late in the game that the Canes stopped stealing or moving up on wild pitches and only took one base at a time on hits to the outfield.
Every Franklin starter with the exception of two had at least one hit, one RBI and one run scored. Alex Matika came close to joining the others, as he walked twice, scored once and had a RBI.
Derek Heffelfinger had the biggest night of all the Hurricanes. He reached base all four times he stepped to the plate (three singles and a walk) and finished with a game-high five RBIs. He knocked in at least one run during every at-bat. Steve Shanton, Billy Angst, Zach Knox and Cole Rex all had multiple hits and multiple RBIs as well. Knox also scored four runs, while Shanton and Angst each scored three. Sean Green added two hits and three runs to boot.
Ciaveralla got the win on the mound. He surrendered just two hits in the first two innings before giving up three runs on four hits in the third. Matika and Rex shared the next two innings and only faced one more than the minimum.
Franklin advances to play No. 3 seed Phillipsburg on Thursday. Phillipsburg knocked off the Hurricanes 6-2 last Saturday and sent the locals to the losers' bracket. Franklin will be looking for a little pay back this time around
"I think we are ready," Strohl said. "We are hitting the ball well and are playing some good defense. As long as we throw strikes I think we will be right in the ball game."
L. Nazareth 003 00 - 3 6 4
FT Hurricanes 255 (10)x - 22 16 1
Kosmidis, C. Kotyuk (2), Talmadge (4), Suarez (4) and Weaver; Ciaverella, Matika (4), Rex (5) and Shanton, Matika (5). W - Ciaverall, L - Kosmidis.