The Franklin Junior League All-Stars scored twice in the sixth inning and three times in the seventh, posting a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over Clarion, and winning the District 25 championship.
Franklin will begin play in the Section 1 Tournament in DuBois on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM against host team and District 10 champion DuBois.
Trailing 4-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Franklin saw the inning’s leadoff hitter, Tyler Emrick, reach on an error, and advance to third base on a single by Andy Irwin. RBI singles by Brady Wilson and Connor Curran cut Clarion’s lead to 3-2.
In the seventh, Nate Emerson walked and Travis Perry singled. After Emerson was thrown out at home plate trying to score on a wild pitch, Mike Yasenka walked and stole second base. Emrick gave Franklin a 5-4 lead with a two-run single, advanced to second base on the throw to the infield, moved to third on a wild pitch and, following a walk to Trey Weaver, scored the game’s final run on a delayed double steal.
Emrick and Irwin, who had earlier scored on an error, both finished with two hits. Irwin earned the win in a relief role.
Three of Clarion’s four runs off Perry, the Franklin starter, were unearned, with Franklin committing five errors in the game. Cam Craig scored on an error to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Then, in the fifth frame, Jimmy Smathers reached first base on an error on a dropped third strike. After Smathers stole second base, Spencer Miller walked, Smathers reached third base on a wild pitch, and Sam Leadbetter delivered a two-run double. Clarion increased their lead to three runs when Leadbetter took third base on an error and scored on a passed ball.
Christine Smith went 3-for-4 for Clarion, while Leadbetter and Craig both recorded two hits. Clarion was also the recipient of four walks, two hits-by-pitch and the five Franklin errors, but they stranded eleven runners on base.
Franklin went 3-0 in the four-team, double-elimination tournament, posting an earlier 6-3 victory over Clarion, and beating Oil City 7-5 in the winners’ bracket final. Clarion finished 2-2 with the pair of losses to the Franklin squad, a 12-5 win in an elimination contest with Cranberry, and an 8-3 victory over Oil City in the “B” bracket final.