The Franklin Junior League baseball All-Stars weathered two delays totaling an hour and 58 minutes on Thursday night, and posted a 13-0 shutout win over Harbor Creek in an elimination contest in the Section 1 Junior League Tournament in DuBois.
Franklin (4-1 overall; 1-1 at Sections) will face McLane on Friday at 6:00 PM at DuBois City Park (and on 96.3 KQW) in the “B” bracket final of the double-elimination tournament with the winner advancing to Saturday’s 2:00 PM championship against District 10 host DuBois. The Section 1 champion will take part in the state championship tournament which will begin Wednesday morning in Cranberry.
Thursday’s game was delayed for 33 minutes by a top-of-the-first-inning debate over the legality of the bats the Franklin team was using, and by an hour and 25 minutes due to lightning strikes in the middle of the third inning.
Franklin took a 3-0 lead before the weather delay on second-inning base hits by Connor Curran and Josh Kirwin, a sacrifice bunt by Brady Wilson, an RBI infield single by Korey Baker, a run-scoring balk and a Harbor Creek error. The lead was upped to 6-0 in the sixth inning as Wilson singled, Baker reached on an error, Nate Emerson and Mike Yasenka plated runs with singles, and Tyler Emrick drove home a run with a ground ball out.
Franklin added seven runs in the top of the final inning, bringing eleven batters to the plate. Curran, Kirwin and Wilson loaded the bases with singles, Emerson forced home a score with a one-out walk, Yasenka and Trey Weaver each contributed RBI base hits, and Andy Irwin and Curran both delivered two-run singles.
Meanwhile, Curran and Wilson combined on five-and-a-third innings of no-hit pitching until Harbor Creek center fielder Nick Trombetta delivered a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Emrick retired all four batters he faced, the first three by strikeouts. Harbor Creek managed three singles off Baker before he forced out the game’s final hitter on a ground ball to Curran at third base.
Harbor Creek starter Brandon Burnett worked 6-and-a-third innings, despite being charged with 10 runs (7 earned). Lucas Folmar finished up for the Huskies.
All 18 of the Franklin hits were singles, as were the four Harbor Creek base hits. Yasenka, Curran and Kirwin all recorded three hits, while Irwin, Weaver and Wilson tallied two apiece.
DuBois, meanwhile, won the tournament’s winners’ bracket final with a 9-0 shutout of McLane.