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Franklin Falls, 3-1, to Mount Union in PIAA Semifinals
(Photo: Tyus Wood scored the lone run for Franklin Tuesday. Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)
Quinnten Fultz’ double in the fourth inning drove in two runs and lifted District 6 Champion Mount Union over District 10 Champion Franklin 3-1 in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals Tuesday afternoon at Showers Field in DuBois.
With the game tied at one, Kobe Hand and Ethan Carbaugh each scored on Fultz’s groundball double to left.
The Knights, who finished the season at 23-2 and saw their 22-game win streak ended, had a chance to tie the game in seventh when Zach Taylor and Tyus Wood got on with one out bringing up Connor Rakow, who represented the winning run. However, Rakow hit a ground ball to the Trojans second baseman and the game ended on a double play.
“We missed some opportunities,” Franklin manager Brian Schmidt said. “We had some guys on but that’s baseball. We’re not gonna come through all the time. I think we hit the ball better than they did today, we just didn’t string them together but I thought we did a heck of a job at the plate.”
Mount Union opened up the first inning with the game’s first run when Grayson McClain crossed the plate following a double play that took out Matt Harshbarger at second and Dylan Gearhart at first.
Franklin immediately answered in the bottom of the first with Bubba Rhoades driving in Wood after an error by the Trojans third baseman.
Carbaugh led the Trojans offense going 3-for-3 with a run scored while McClain and Hand each had a pair of hits and a run scored. Fultz finished with a double and two RBIs and Harshbarger added a base hit.
Rakow paced the Knights offense going 2-for-4 while Wood went 1-for-4 with the lone run scored.
Gearhart got the win for Mount Union giving up one run on nine hits while striking out a pair.
Ian Haynes, a junior, struck out four but gave up three earned runs on nine hits in the loss for Franklin. It was Haynes’ first loss since his freshman season
Despite the loss, Coach Schmidt had some high praise for his seniors.
“It was a fun group of guys.” Schmidt said. “They approach the game the right way. They come to practice and work hard. I appreciated coaching them for four years, and they’re going out into the real world now, so I hope they do big things.”
MOUNT UNION 3, FRANKLIN 1
Score by Innings
Mount Union 100 200 0 – 3
Franklin 100 000 0 – 1
MOUNT UNION – 3
Grayson McClain cf 4120, Matt Harshbarger 2b 4010, Dylan Gearhart p 3000, Quinton Posey 3b 3000, Kobe Hand 1b 3120, Ian Brodbeck pr 0000, Ethan Carbaugh ss 3130, Seth Smith lf 3000, Quinnten Fultz rf 3012, Bryce Stinson c 3000. Totals 29-3-9-2.
FRANKLIN – 1
Zachery Taylor lf 4010, Tyus Wood 2b 4110, Connor Rakow ss 4020, Bubba Rhoads 1b 3000, Kaden Keely cf 3010, Ian Haynes p 3010, Dale Kinch cr 0000, Marc Knox dh 3010, Cole Harmon c 0000, Kolton Banfi 3b 3010, Carson Wible rf 3010. Totals 30-1-9-0.
LOB: Mount Union 5. Franklin 8. Errors: Mount Union 3. Franklin 2. 2B: Fultz. SB: Rakow. CSL Harshbarger. PO: Knox. DP: Mount Union 2. Franklin 2.
Dylan Gearhart 7 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Ian Haynes 7 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Winning pitcher: Dylan Gearhart
Losing pitcher: Ian Haynes
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