Franklin Regional baseball eliminated in PIAA quarterfinals
By: Jeffrey Kauffman
Thursday, June 6, 2019 | 9:08 PM
GREENE TOWNSHIP — Franklin Regional’s dream baseball season came to an end in the PIAA Class 5A quarterfinal round as it lost to Lampeter-Strasburg, 7-2, at Greene Township Park in Scotland on Thursday.
Franklin Regional (19-3), the WPIAL third-place finisher, blasted Cathedral Prep, 13-4, in the PIAA Class 5A opener. District 3’s fourth place team, Lampeter-Strasburg edged WPIAL champion Shaler, 5-1, in its opener.
Lampeter-Strasburg (23-4) will face Cedar Cliff, an 11-0 five-inning victor over Bishop Shanahan, on Monday.
Tony Kegerreis singled with two outs in the first inning for the Panthers, but Coastal Carolina commit Braedon Karpathios retired Louie Kegerreis on a liner to left.
Andrew Muraco started for the Panthers but allowed three consecutive hits to plate two runs. Thomas Shockey singled, and Karpathios doubled to the gap in left-center. Dylan Byler ripped the next pitch to the same spot for another run. Byler later ran home on an infield error that was tagged as an unearned run. LS led 3-0.
“The first inning didn’t go our way. Defensively, we would like to have a couple of plays back. They would have been great plays, but our kids expect to make those plays,” Panther coach Robert Saddler said. “But a 3-0 lead is not insurmountable. They battled through the game, but it is the timely hitting at this time of the year (that wins games).”
Karpathios used the wide strike zone to his advantage, striking out 11 — six looking — as he found the outside edge.
“The 3-0 lead gives us energy, enthusiasm, and passion for the game,” Pioneer coach Keith Martin said. “Karpathios looked phenomenal. We had couple of good defensive plays, and I like to see that. We had to face some adversity, but I liked the way we faced it and won those little challenges in the game.”
Franklin Regional finally scored after a Tony Kegerreis single. He raced to third on a rare two-base wild pitch and scored on a Bryce Harper sacrifice fly.
The Pioneers extended their lead in the fourth as Patrick Holmes singled. Taso Kovach walked, and the Panthers got a fielder’s choice for one out and runners on the corners. Everybody was safe as Kovach beat the play on Shockey’s grounder to short. Holmes scored on the play, and Shockey raced home on a double by Karpathios.
The Panthers had runners in scoring position with no outs in the fifth, but Karpathios struck out three in a row.
Muraco hit Hunter Cunningham with a pitch, and Cunningham ran home on Holmes’ double to the gap, ending Muraco’s night.
The Pioneers added to their lead in the sixth as Joe Meck doubled and eventually raced home on a wild pitch for the 7-1 edge.
A walk to Jake Williams preceded a double by Tony Kegerreis in the seventh for the final Panthers run. Kegerreis had three hits.
“Credit to their pitcher, a Coastal Carolina commit who used the called strike zone to his advantage,” Saddler said. “We are not normally a team that takes pitches, especially with two strikes. It didn’t end the way we wanted, but this group worked so hard from freshman, sophomore, junior to senior year. This is one of the hardest-working groups. It is a pleasure to coach this group. They love to be around each other, the family atmosphere.”
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