Hurricanes fall in title game
Justin Kaminski of the Franklin Township Hurricanes comes off the bag to take a throw at second base.
It was nearly a week ago when the Franklin Township Hurricanes were the team taking advantage of fielding miscues by the opposition, earning them a victory in the opening game of the best-of-three Keystone Senior Babe Ruth League Championship series.
Monday night, however, it was a complete role reversal as the Pocono Mountain Outlaws were the squad cashing in on mistakes made by the Hurricanes in the decisive third game of the series.
Two of five fielding errors on the day for the Hurricanes led to a pair runs in the second and fourth innings. Those costly miscues came back to haunt the Hurricanes as the Outlaws walked off with a 2-0 victory to earn its first championship in the program's six year history.
"All year we prided ourselves on defense and I don't know today we just didn't have it," Hurricanes' manager Ricky Strohl said. "I don't know if it was the delay (nearly an hour rain delay) that took us out of our game.
"We just didn't have it defensively tonight."
After watching the way things unfolded last Tuesday at Christman Field, Pocono Mountain manager Chris Martinelli was glad to see the opposite happen for his team, especially since they were facing talented Hurricanes' starting pitcher Dane Ciavarella for a second time in the series.
"In game one, they took advantage of our mistakes, which led to five unearned runs and they went on to win the game, 6-1," Martinelli said. "Tonight, we didn't have many chances. Their pitcher (Ciavarella) shut us down. But, we were able to take advantage of their mistakes as we have been able to do often throughout the year against other teams.
"We capitalized on teams when they made fielding blunders or some sort of miscue. Tonight, it helped us win a championship."
Dylan Transue led off the Outlaw second with a single to right-centerfield. Jon Furino followed with an infield single.
With one out, Joey Scott grounded into what looked like it was going to be a 6-4-3 double play, but the relay throw was wild, allowing Transue to score the game's first run. Hurricanes' catcher Steve Shanton prevented any further damage by catching Scott trying to steal second base.
The Outlaws struck again in the fourth inning.
Transue was hit by a pitch, moved to second on an errant pickoff move and went to third on a wild pitch. Transue then scored when a Furino grounder to second was thrown away.
The Hurricanes had runners in scoring position in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings, but weren't able to capitalize against Outlaws' starting pitcher Tommy Robson.
"I'm proud of our guys," Strohl said. "Coming into the season, I didn't know what we would have, but to be Division champions in the regular season and then go through the playoffs in the loser's bracket definitely showed heart.
"We have a lot of guys coming back and we'll be ready to go next year."
The victory was redemption for the Outlaws, who dropped last year's best-of-three championship series.
"Last year, we lost in game three of the championship series to Bushkill Falls which left a bitter taste in our mouth," Martinelli said. "We didn't want to have that happen two years in a row."
The Hurricanes' lead-off batter Steve Shanton finished 2-for-3 with two singles. Mike Hickey added a double in the second and Cole Rex had a single in the fourth.
PM Outlaws 010 100 0 - 2 4 1
FT Hurricanes 000 000 0 - 0 4 5
Robson and Scott; Ciavarella and Shanton. W - Robson. L - Ciavarella.