FT Shockers, 'Canes advance
The Franklin Township baseball squads turned in successful efforts on Tuesday in a doubleheader at Christman Field in the Keystone Senior Babe Ruth Tournament.
The Franklin Shockers, who were the No. 1 seed in the American Division, took just five innings to dismantle the Hazleton Mountaineers, 13-1. The Franklin Hurricanes, the No 1 seed in the National Division, also got a win with a 7-3 victory over the Bushkill Township Minutemen.
The first game of the double header at Christman Field pitted the FT Shockers vs. the Mountaineers.
The Shockers used the second inning to score eight runs on seven hits to put the Mountaineers in a hole early. In the frame James Farano had two RBIs with AJ Weinrich, Alex Storm, and Vince Mele all knocking in runs as well. The Shockers, who have been struggling a little bit at the plate the last couple games got going early and that's exactly what head coach Donnie Rehrig wanted for his team.
"The last couple of game we've been getting guys on base, but we haven't been getting key hits," said Rehrig. "I've been telling the guys that we need to be more aggressive at the plate and jump on first pitch fastballs. I feel like in the past couple games we were getting behind in the count and then obviously the pitcher can then dictate the at-bat. Today, we did a better job of being aggressive and it showed with out run production."
Shockers clean-up hitter Alex Storm had himself a day at the plate for FT, getting a double and two singles with four RBIs. Storm got a hit and an RBI everytime he went to the plate against the Mountaineers.
Another reason for the Shockers' success on Tuesday was pitcher Thatcher David. David went five strong innings, giving up just one run on four hits, while striking out three.
"I started out getting my pitches down and my defense made a lot of nice plays so things just pretty much all came together for us today," said David. "We had two big innings where we got some big runs so it gave me the confidence to go out there and throw my pitches. I just try to stay calm and block out around me when I pitch and today it all worked out."
With the win the Shockers will now face Towamensing on Thursday at Towamensing at 5:30 p.m.
Hazleton 000 01 - 1 4 4
Franklin Shockers 184 0x - 13 11 0
Solanick, Bennett (3), and Bachert; T. David and Weinrich; W - T. David L - Solanick.
The Franklin Twsp. Hurricanes much like their counterpart the Shockers used a big inning to help them get the win, but instead of the second the 'Canes used the fourth. FT scored four runs in the fifth inning to solidify a 7-3 victory and advanced themselves to the next round of Keystone Sr. Babe Ruth Tournament play.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third after a triple by Dane Ciavarella scored Steve Shanton with Ciavarella then scoring later in the inning on a balk by Minutemen pitcher Brandon Sutter.
The Minutemen made things interesting in the fifth knotting the game up a 2-2 after Nick Novak scored on a past ball and Jonathan Piperato knocked in a run with an RBI ground out.
That's when the big fifth came in handy for the 'Canes. They got five hits in the inning with TJ Prontnicki, Zach Rex, and Dan Dailey all knocking in a run to piece together the four-run explosion.
"Our last three or four games we have been really struggling to put runs on the board, but finally something broke through and it helped us out a lot," said 'Canes coach Ricky Strohl. "our guys did a good job of seeing pitches and driving the ball and it wasn't something we definitely needed as a confidence booster as we move forward in the tournament."
FT pitcher Dane Ciavarella was on the hill for the 'Canes and he had the Minutemen off balance for most of the evening. He pitched six strong innings giving up just six hits and striking our four.
"We can rely on Dane pretty much everytime he goes out there for us," said Strohl. "We throw him out there every couple days and today was just one of those games again where he kept us in the ball game and pitched a nice outing."
With the victory the Hurricanes will now face the winner of the Philipsburg vs. Lower Nazareth Twsp. contest. That game will played on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.. If Lower Nazareth wins then the 'Canes will travel to LN and if Philipsburg wins then they will host the game on Thursday at Christman Field.
Bushkill 000 020 1 - 3 6 2
FT Hurricanes 002 041 - 7 9 2
Sutter, Miller (4), and Piperato. Ciavarella, Dailey (7), and Duvigneaud.