Franklin Regional baseball sets tone with strong start to season

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Saturday, April 3, 2021 | 11:01 AM


They say the first game of the season can be a good or bad omen for baseball teams. It can set the tone for what lies ahead.

Franklin Regional liked what it saw in its first game of 2021 — its first in nearly two years because of the coronavirus shutdown last spring — and the Panthers hope more victories will follow.

“It’s just amazing to be playing baseball again,” Panthers coach Bobby Saddler said. “These kids have waited so long to get back. They deserve to be able to play again.”

Senior first baseman Tim Quinn launched a three-run home run to lift the Class 5A Panthers past 6A Hempfield, 3-2, in the season opener March 26 at Haymaker Park.

“We’re coming off a big season two years ago, so we’re excited,” Quinn said. “We got something to prove.”

Senior Louie Kegerreis added two hits in the victory for the Panthers, who began the year ranked No. 3 by the Tribune-Review.

Senior Brian Pirone struck out six and walked six but earned the win, allowing just three hits. Senior Luke Treloar picked up the save.

The Panthers worked their way around Hempfield senior pitcher Phil Fox, a Gardner-Webb commit, who helped limit the Panthers to three hits.

But Quinn’s blast was the biggest of the three.

“There are breaks in baseball,” Saddler said. “There were breaks both ways today. We just got a couple more.”

Hempfield left 10 on base.

The homer was the first of Quinn’s high school career.

“I started to put on weight last year and it really has helped me with my swing,” Quinn said. “It was my breakout year.

“(Fox) really brought it today,” Quinn said. “He had some really good stuff. All it took was the really big shift in momentum.”

The Panthers followed that win with a 1-0 gem against Connellsville as Quinn delivered a run-scoring single in the bottom of the sixth and Thomas Nicely added two hits. Pirone earned the win again, working two innings. Treloar pitched the rest of the game.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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