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SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – With one swing of the bat Franklin’s Carson Wible provided all the run support his pitcher, Luke Guth needed in Monday’s D10 Class 3A quarterfinal game against Sharon at Slippery Rock University’s Jack Critchfield Park.
Wilbe broke open a scoreless tie with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth, back an absolutely dominant performance from Guth in a 3-0 win over the Tigers.
“I felt really good,” Guth said. “I knew coming into this game I had to really battle because that team is a good team. I had to come in focused and compete.”
He certainly did that, with Sharon’s Mikey Rodriques matching him through the first four innings. The Tigers got to the talented Sharon righty in the fifth, however. With one out, Doyle and Guth hit back-to-back singles, setting the table for Wible.
“My first two ABs, I swung first-pitch both times and just got unlucky, didn’t find a hole,” Wible said. “I felt like I was on him, just sat back, waited a few pitches and did my thing.”
Noah Kockler followed with an infield RBI single that, coupled with an error on the play, allowed both Guth and Wible to score, making it 3-0 Franklin (14-5).
That was more than enough for Guth, the talented sophomore who holds a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Guth started the game strong and finished with a bang. He struck out the side in the first and fanned five of the first six batters he faced.
The lone Tiger (8-9) to reach in the first two innings to reach, Rodriques, was thrown out after sliding past second base on a base hit.
Guth faced just one jam all game, and that was in the fourth inning. With Sully Brown on second after reaching on a fielder’s choice, Guth faced his mound opponent, Rodriques, with two outs. Rodriques hit a hot shot that deflected off Guth’s glove and right to Caleb Doyle, who threw to first for the out.
Guth allowed just one baserunner over his final three innings on a walk but promptly picked Michael Herman-Shell for the second out of the fifth inning.
Guth’s final line read like this: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 10 K
Rodriques went 4 ⅓ innings, allowing three runs (one earned). He gave up five hits, walked five and struck out six. Sully Brown came on to pitch 1 ⅔ innings of scoreless relief. He allowed one hit, struck out two and didn’t issue a walk.
Up next for the Knights are the Hickory Hornets in the semifinals. Hickory defeated North East, 7-3. The other semifinal will pit Fairview (a 6-3 winner over Titusville) and Mercyhurst Prep (a 4-2 winner over Greenville).
“The job’s not done.” Wible said.
Added Guth: “We’re looking forward to it.”