CLARION, Pa. – A huge final three innings jumpstarted the Franklin offense in their 17-12 win over Clarion Area on Saturday. Franklin trailed 9-2 heading into the fourth inning and scored 15 runs in the final three frames to leapfrog Clarion and secure the win.
Both teams brought the bats, combining for 29 runs and 12 hits. Carson Wible led Franklin, going 3-for-5 with a double and a home run. Luke Guth went 3-for-4 with three doubles. Clarion received standout afternoons from Dawson Smail and Cole Slaugenhoup, the former going 4-for-5 with three doubles and the latter going 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.
Wible picked up the win on the mound for Franklin, throwing 2 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Slaugenhoup was Clarion’s most effective arm, throwing 4 2/3 innings of five-run, six strikeout ball. Daunte Girvan picked up the loss for Clarion. Both sides were poor in the field, with Franklin making eight errors and Clarion producing three errors of their own.
Cole Slaugenhoup on the Mound
After both sides scored a pair of runs in the first, Clarion struck for five in the second. The Bobcats put five consecutive runners on base in the frame, including run-scoring doubles by Smail and Slaugenhoup. A sacrifice fly by Girvan produced the fifth run of the inning, allowing the Bobcats to take a 7-2 lead.
Smail and Craddock would drive in runs in the third and fourth innings to up Clarion’s lead to 9-2. Franklin would kick things into gear in the fifth, scoring four runs. Singles and walks would get the job done for Franklin in the inning, with two clutch singles from Cole Harmon and Wible driving in three of the four runs. Franklin had two outs in the inning before they put their first runner on base.
Clarion fought back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, but the Knights smashed their way into the lead with a six-run fifth. Four singles, three walks, and an error did the damage. A Wible 2-RBI single cut Clarion’s lead to 11-10, a Harmon single tied the game, and an infield error would give Franklin a 12-11 lead.
Franklin added to their lead in the seventh, with Wible smashing a three-run home run to left field after a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Franklin would nab two more runs in the frame and snuffed out a mild Clarion rally to secure the 17-12 win.
Clarion is now 1-4 on the season. They will next face Cranberry at Clarion on Monday. Franklin moves to 2-2 overall. They will face Girard at Franklin on Monday.