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ON THIS DATE (July, 31, 2001): FTLL completes perfect run

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Since May of 1999, the Times News Sports Department has featured an On This Date practically every day, highlighting an event that happened in the past. With the coronavirus putting a halt to most sports locally and nationally, the On This Dates have been expanded to the stories that actually ran in the next day’s newspaper. Today’s On This Date story is from July 31, 2001).



When it comes to offensive output, nothing short of a rolling blackout could stop Franklin Township #1 in this year’s Panther Valley Little League Tournament.

Franklin pushed across 105 runs for the tournament, a whopping average of over 11 per game.

With that type of production, it’s no surprise Franklin completed its slate with a perfect 9-0 record, capped by a tourney-high scoring outburst in trouncing host Towamensing Township 24-2 Tuesday evening to clinch the PVLL championship.

The tourney title was Franklin Township’s fourth overall and first since 1995. FT also earned the WMGH-WLSH trophy, symbolic of PVLL supremacy, in 1988 and 1992.

Franklin’s bats completely overwhelmed Towamensing (1-7), which was coming off its lone tourney win after scoring 23 runs at Weatherly Monday.

After leading 1-0 after one inning, Franklin batted around in the second and third innings. FT sent 13 batters to the plate in the second for nine runs, then pulled away by sending 20 to bat in the third, resulting in 14 more runs to help halt the proceedings after four innings by the 10-run rule.

“I knew they had it in them, it was just a matter of when it would show up,” said Franklin #1 manager Joe Hedash. “They’ve been able to hit the ball, so it wasn’t a fluke that they did it.

“We have good kids, and they practiced hard. We thought Jim Thorpe and Lansford would be big games, and after we won those (beating Thorpe 5-2 and Lansford 10-2), plus winning a good game with Nesquehoning (4-2), we felt we had it in hand.”

Franklin pounded out 21 hits, with the entire lineup contributing.

Doing the most damage was Jared Ahner, who was 4-for-4 with three doubles and four RBIs, and Trevor Miller, who was 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs.

Casey Hedash added to the onslaught with a double, two singles and three RBIs, and Shane McEvoy drove in four runs with two singles, a sacrifice fly and a bases loaded walk.

Jesse Strawser ended with three RBIs from a pair of singles, while Greg Steigerwalt ended up 2-for-5, driving home one run. Eric Berger, Justin Mooney and Thad Kosciolek each knocked out RBI singles, and Corey Whitehead added a hit.

Franklin Twp. #1 19 (14) 0 - 24 21 1

Towamensing 000 2 - 2 3 4

W - Hedash. L - Costenbader.

Franklin Township swept through the 2001 Panther Valley Little League Tournament undefeated. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO