In the third inning of the Public League baseball championship game Tuesday, George Washington's Roger Hanson was nearly pulled after experiencing a bout of wildness and giving up four walks.
"I couldn't find my release point at all; my mechanics were off," the senior righthander said. "But I wasn't coming out of the game. No way. I wasn't going to let my teammates down."
Hanson stayed in against Franklin Towne Charter, escaped the third inning with a 4-6-3 double play, and helped the Eagles earn their first Public League crown since 1995 with a 3-2 triumph at Ashburn Field in South Philadelphia.
"I know Roger pretty well," Washington senior third baseman Scott Siley said. "He gets frustrated at times, but he battles. He found a groove, hung in there."
Hanson, who also worked out of a based-loaded jam in the sixth, struck out nine and held Franklin Towne to six hits. The 6-foot, 185-pounder threw 129 pitches, 77 for strikes.
"You have to give him credit," Washington coach Ken Geiser said. "He didn't have his 'A' game. But he worked through it, got it done."
With its breakthrough victory, Washington (15-3) ended an 11-year streak of Frankford or Central capturing the championship trophy.
"I can't believe it," Siley said. "It's just an amazing feeling. We worked so hard to make this happen."
In the bottom of the sixth, trailing, 3-2, Franklin Towne strung together three singles after its first two batters struck out. On the third hit, to short left field, Coyotes coach Chris Lauber held up Fred Courduff at third. Hanson then notched his eighth strikeout of the afternoon.
"I thought it was way too shallow to send him," Lauber said of Matt Schlernitzauer's poke to left. "And their pitcher was walking a few guys. I thought we could get another hit."
Washington and Franklin Towne (17-4) traded runs in the first. In the third, the Eagles used Ishmael Bracy's RBI single to left and Siley's RBI triple to right-center to go in front, 3-1.
The Coyotes, who reached the final for the second straight season, made it 3-2 on Zack Beltran's bases-loaded, one-out walk in the third.
Hanson, who mixed fastballs and curveballs, is considering a career in the military.
"This could be it for baseball for me," the 18-year-old said. "I want to keep it going. The guys on the team are like my brothers."
George Washington 102 000 0 - 3 6 2
Franklin Towne Chart. 101 000 0 - 2 6 0
WP: Roger Hanson. LP: Steve Callahan. 2B: GW-John Santos, Patrick Farrell. 3B: GW-Scott Siley; FTC-Rob Henry.