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McCracken, Franklin Walk-Off Against Hickory; Fairview Also Advances in 3A; Sharpsville, Middlesex to Meet for 2A Title Powered by North Washington Rodeo

West Middlesex's Richie Preston.

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Aidan McCracken’s RBI single lifted No. 5 Franklin to a 6-5 win over top-seed Hickory, assuring there will be a new D10 Class 3A champion in 2022.

McCraken’s knock brought in Caleb Doyle with two outs. Doyle drew a one-out walk and went to second on Carson Wible’s walk.

It was a game in which Franklin took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, with Hickory putting up a three-spot of its own in the third to tie it up.

Both teams scored two runs in the fifth inning as well.

Luke Guth led off the bottom of the first for Franklin with a triple and scored on Wible’s RBI single. McCracken followed with a triple, driving in a pair.

         

In the third, Clay Wiesen got Hickory on the board with an RBI single, Johnny Leedham made it 3-2 with an RBI single, and Wiesen tied the game by coming home on a double steal.

Leedham’s two-run single in the fifth made it 5-3 Hornets, but Franklin answered right back, courtesy of Wible’s two-run single.

Zach Boland got the win, tossing a scoreless top of the seventh despite walking three. Guth got the start and went six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, striking out 15, and walking one.

Wible and McCracken had two hits and three RBIs each.

DJ Donatelli got the loss, giving up the run in the seventh. Tyson Djakovich went six innings for Hickory, allowing five runs on eight hits, striking out seven, and walking one.

         

Leedham finished with three RBIs, while he and Wiesen had two hits each.

With the win, Franklin advances to face No. 3 Fairview in the title game on Monday.

(3) FAIRVIEW 3, (7) MERCYHURST PREP 0

ERIE, Pa. – Fairview scored three runs in the fourth inning, which was more than enough for Sean Houston in a 3-0 semifinal win over Mercyhurst Prep.

In the fourth, Logan Fiolek put the Tigers on the board with an RBI double, which was followed by a two-run single off the bat of Collin Bolla.

     

Houston, meanwhile, was dominant. He allowed just four hits, struck out eight and walked one, throwing 66 of his 95 pitches for strikes.

John Manendo took the loss, going six innings and allowing three runs on four hits, striking out four and walking two.

CLASS 2A SEMIFINALS

(1) SHARPSVILLE 5, (4) LAKEVIEW 1

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Brock Lenzi fired a three-hitter as Sharpsville moved past Lakeview, 5-1 in their quest to repeat as District 10 champions.

The Blue Devils scored three runs in the first inning and two more in the third.

Luke Distler doubled to lead off the bottom of the first and scored on Lenzi’s RBI double. Braden Scravel had an RBI single with two outs and James Thomas came home on a double steal to make it 3-0.

After Jackson Gadsby’s RBI single got Lakeview on the board in the top of the third, the Blue Devils put two more runs on the board, as Thomas’ triple brought in Lenzi, who doubled, and Jack Leipheimer doubled in Thomas.

Lenzi struck out 11, walked just one, and thew 67 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

Evan Reiser tossed a complete-game in defeat, allowing 11 hits.

(3) WEST MIDDLESEX 5, (2) WILMINGTON 1

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Richie Preston and Devin Gruver combined on a two-hitter as West Middlesex upended Wilmington 5-1 in the D10 Class 2A semifinals.

Preston went six innings, allowing just one run on two hits, striking out eight and walking two. Gruver came on and pitched a scoreless seventh to send the Big Reds to the D10 title game.

The game was tied 1-1 going into the seventh when Middlesex struck for four runs. Bowen Briggs broke the tie with a one-out RBI single, while Hunter Hoffman tacked on two more runs with a two-out, two-run single, and Devin Gruver capped the inning by drawing a bases-loaded walk.

Gio Rococi also had a hit, a pair of walks, and a run for the Big Reds.

Isaac Schleich pitched into the seventh for Wilmington, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits, striking out six, and walking three. Rocky Serafino came on in relief and allowed three runs (two earned).

Shane Book’s RBI single in the sixth had tied the game for Wilmington.

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