Franklin Regional-Mars game suspended when lights go out at North Allegheny

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Friday, May 21, 2021 | 10:36 PM


A power failure in the left field light tower at North Allegheny’s baseball field forced Friday’s Class 5A WPIAL quarterfinal between top-seeded Franklin Regional and No. 8 Mars to be suspended with the score tied 5-5 with two outs in the top of the fifth inning.

The game will resume at 3 p.m. Saturday at Fox Chapel.

North Allegheny is a state-of-the-art facility. These things can happen anywhere,” Franklin Regional coach Bobby Sadler said. “It was just a weird thing, and sometimes this stuff happens. We’ll roll with the punches and play the hand we’re dealt. I see no reason why both teams won’t be excited and ready to go when we resume tomorrow.”

The light tower went out for a first time earlier in the fourth inning, causing a 30-minute delay before turning back on. Three batters later, however, as Panthers left fielder Trevor Brncic caught a fly ball, the lights above him went out again forcing the umpires to suspend the game.

“Last season was my first season and had the covid-19 pandemic, and I’ve never been a part of something strange like this in a game,” Mars coach Jason Thompson said. “In some ways, this is par for the course in a season that has been ever-changing and evolving.”

The game was also delayed 20 minutes in the first inning for mound maintenance after Panthers starter Luke Treloar slipped on the mound a couple of times in his first nine pitches.

Franklin Regional scored four times in the bottom of the first, which was highlighted by an RBI single by Anthony Alessi. The Panthers added another run in the second on an RBI triple by Louie Keggerreis.

Mars rallied with three runs in the third inning, two of which came in on a single by John Fratto. JJ Wetherholt belted an RBI triple in the fourth that scored Teddy Ruffner and later came home on a wild pitch to tie the game.

Both starters, Treloar and Mars’ Alex Heavner, exceeded 75 pitches and will be unavailable to pitch Saturday.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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