Franklin Twp. stays alive
bob ford/times news Haris Cokrlija of Franklin Township slides safely into third base during Monday's game against Freeland.
With two outs in the sixth inning, Franklin Township's Frank Bokan III was relieved from his pitching duties after the tying run scored on a fielding error.
Bokan's disappointment didn't last long.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Bokan singled and eventually trotted across home plate with the game-winning run to lift Franklin Township to a 4-3 victory over visiting Freeland in the loser's bracket of the District 18 11-12 year old All-Star Tournament.
"Yeah, that was exciting," said Bokan, who made up for losing a chance for the pitching win by accounting for the game-winning run. "I thought I was only going to get a single, but when the outfielder missed the ball I was able to get to third."
By reaching third with two outs, it set the table for Franklin Township's second baseman Jack Schaeffer to finish the job.
With two singles, a run scored and an RBI to his credit already, Franklin Township manager Frank Bokan, Jr. left Schaeffer swing on a 1-1 count. Schaeffer lined a bullet down the rightfield line, over an out-stretched first baseman's glove for a hit.
Schaeffer's single pushed Bokan across home plate with the game-winner which pushes Franklin Township into the next round of the double-elimination tournament. It will now face Palmerton/Towamensing, which was a 3-0 victor over Tri-County, on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Palmerton/Towamensing.
"Coach Bokan wanted me to bunt it down the first base line to get home the winning run or wait for a passed ball to get by," said Schaeffer. "But I wanted to swing away."
Bokan Jr. had no problems having Schaeffer second guessing his call, especially with it happening in the last inning.
"We have been this way all season," Bokan, Jr. said. "The kids and I are like one. I'm in their heads. They're in my head. We're working as one. He (Schaeffer) was definitely clutch today.
"We called time there and we talked. We thought about trying to squeeze it there, but he said, 'Coach, I want to see what I can do. Let me have it' .... and he delivered."
Schaeffer scored in the first on a wild pitch and poked an RBI single in the second to score Haris Cokrlija. Gabe Wagner accounted for Franklin Township's run in the third when he reached on a walk and eventually scored on a throwing error.
"The kids made the plays they had to make and we got the job done," Bokan, Jr. said. "They did a great job. They didn't quit. They didn't give up. They kept their focus. They got the 'W.'"
Freeland 011 001 - 3 10 2
Franklin Twp. 111 001 - 4 7 1
Forsythe, Oberrender (5) and Kost; Bokan, Berger (6) and Wagner. W - Berger. L - Oberrender. HR: Freeland - Smith (2nd, none on).