Despite holding a late lead over Franklin in the fifth inning on Thursday night, the Titusville 12-U all star team fell 7-2 at Miller-Sibley Park. The result left their record at 0-2, eliminating them from any future contests this season.
Titusville carried a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but surrendered six runs in the frame before failing to score in the top of the sixth. Head coach Phil Knapp said he was proud of the effort displayed by his team, despite the game ending in a loss.
“We did a great job all around tonight, but we just had a couple balls get by us,” Knapp said. “We made some errors late, and that puts you in trouble when late innings are getting extended. These kids played hard, so this was a tough one.”
Pitcher Coleman Knapp reached his pitch count limit after 4 2/3 innings, during which he struck out eight batters and allowed three runs. Dominic Fonzo took over for the final third of the fifth inning, but was unable to keep the deficit at 3-2, allowing four runs and striking out one batter.
Titusville jumped out to an early lead after shortstop James Johnson scored on a single by second baseman Blake Ross in the top of the first inning, who also reached with a leadoff single. The second run was added by Coleman, who hit a solo home run in the third.
Those were the only three hits surrendered by Franklin pitcher Darius Cassano, who struck out 14 Titusville batters in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Cassano also hit an RBI double in the third inning to cut the lead to 2-1. Third baseman Ian Higley gave Franklin the lead in the fifth inning with a two-run single.
Knapp gave credit to Franklin for playing well and coming away with the victory.
“(Cassano) did a great job of staying in the game after a tough first inning,” Knapp said. “His pitch count got high early, but he settled down and threw the ball well.”
Titusville attempted a two-out rally in the sixth inning, but Franklin pitcher Mikah Stone struck out the final batter to end the game.
Titusville’s all star season comes to an end after two losses in a double elimination tournament format. Knapp praised his team’s hard work and said he was proud of how they played during their short time together.
“We weren’t an overly-sized team by any means, but every single one of these kids put in the work,” Knapp said. “All of these kids worked hard at practice and left it all out on the field in both games. I’m really proud of them.”
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