The Franklin baseball team went back-to-back in WIAA summer baseball state championships, defeating West Bend West on Friday afternoon in Stevens Point to cap the achievement, 5-4.
The Sabers, who have qualified for state four times in the last five years, won the crown for the second time in school history. The final was a rematch of the 2010 title game, when Franklin defeated the Spartans, 11-4.
The Sabers opened the scoring with two runs in the first, scoring on Ryan Geil's RBI groundout and a two-out single by Jake Penegor, who capped the three-game tournament batting 8 for 10 with three walks. Penegor also doubled and scored in the fifth, helping the Sabers take a 5-2 lead.
Franklin starter Matt Busalacchi hit the corners all day, working six innings and allowing two runs on five hits, retiring his last eight batters. The Spartans scored on a pair of solo homers in the third and fourth, and the Sabers played errorless baseball behind him.
Busalacchi, who only had six innings to work with on the hill because of tourney pitching restrictions, gave way in the seventh to Marcus Schlemm. Franklin also had to go to a relief pitcher in the semifinal, when Marquette came alive for three runs to tie the game. This time, Schlemm allowed a two-run homer but got the final out on a grounder to Jake Penegor.
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