Without help, Wyoming Area may run out of time in its hopes of winning a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title.
Friday’s break-out performance offensively is, at minimum, a good sign heading into the playoffs while also giving the Warriors hope of making more out of their regular season.
Bart Chupka homered and drove in four runs as Wyoming Area downed Holy Redeemer, 7-1, at Hollenback Park.
The Warriors led the last place Royals just 3-1 going to the fifth inning.
Trent Grove started the inning with a single and Chupka followed with a two-run homer.
“We needed runs,” Chupka said. “He gave me a curveball. He left it high – he hung it – and I just hit it.”
Chupka lifted a shot over the fence and lifted the spirits of a team that has been struggling offensively.
“Our team hasn’t been hitting too well as a whole unit, so it was a bit of a breakout,” Chupka said. “It’s the right time to get hot. We’re going into the playoff soon.”
Before that, the Warriors (7-4) have three WVC games left. They are two games behind first-place Tunkhannock and play the Tigers on the road Saturday at 4 p.m.
Two of the three previous Wyoming Area games went 11 innings and ended with 2-1 scores – a win over Dallas and a loss to Berwick. The Warriors came into Friday with just seven runs scored in 29 innings. They have remained successful – four wins in the last five games overall – by remaining difficult to score upon, giving up just five runs in 40 innings through Friday.
“We have played a lot of games where we are scoring very little runs, but we’re still playing very well,” Wyoming Area coach Chick Androscavage said. “It’s tough. We need to get some big hits and we’ll be OK.”
“We talk about it a lot, but then a lot of time, it gets in their head. I think today helped us a little.”
Chupka also had an RBI single in the first inning after Mike Carey and Joe Gavenonis had consecutive singles. He drove in Gavenonis, who had led off with a walk, on a third-inning groundout.
Winning pitcher Jake Granteed followed Chupka’s home run with a single and eventually scored an unearned run to complete the three-run fifth.
Marty Michaels doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on a Brian Mapes groundout.
Granteed went the distance, holding Holy Redeemer scoreless after the Royals tied the game in the bottom of the first. He threw a four-hitter with two walks and five strikeouts.
“Tunkhannock is two games ahead, so we need some help,” Androscavage said. “For us to do anything, we need to win out and Tunkhannock has to lose to someone else besides us.”
More offensive days like Friday would improve the possibility of Wyoming Area taking care of its part of that equation.
Berwick 2, Wyoming Area 1
Wyoming Area’s Joe Gavenonis, Jeremy Zezza and Zach Lopatka combined to allow just two hits in the first 10 innings before Berwick put together two more in the bottom of the 11th to pull out a 2-1 victory Wednesday.
Lopatka, who was 2-for-3, drove in Erik Walkowiak in the top of the second to make it 1-1. The game stayed that way until Berwick scored in the 11th.
Wyoming Area 4, Wyoming Valley West 2
Jake Granteed gave up nine hits in a complete game Monday, but limited Wyoming Valley West’s scoring to lead Wyoming Area to a 4-2 win.
Granteed walked just one and struck out two.
The Warriors opened a 3-0 lead in the first 2 ½ innings.
Bart Chupka doubled for the only Wyoming Area extra-base hit and six other players added singles. Zach Lopatka, Mike Carey and Joe Gavenonis drove in runs.
Pittston Area 8, Holy Redeemer 3
Tyler McGarry went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and scored twice Monday when Pittston Area picked up its second win of the season, 8-3, over Holy Redeemer.
Michael Schwab struck out five in four innings.
Justin Glasgow, John Faggotti and Matt Mott then worked one scoreless inning of relief each to protect the five-run lead.
James Emmett doubled and drove in two runs. Jordan Houseman added a triple and John Kielbasa scored twice.
The Patriots did all their scoring early with three runs in the bottom of the first and five more in the third.
Dallas 13, Pittston Area 3
Dallas downed Pittston Area, 13-3, in six innings Wednesday.
Josh Razvillas had a home run and a double for the Patriots in the loss.
Jordan McCrumm was 3-for-4 with two triples and a double to back Brian Stepniak’s five-hitter for Dallas.
Berwick 2-13, Pittston Area 0-0
Andrew Lawrence and Jordan DiValerio threw a five-inning, no-hitter for Berwick Friday in a 13-0 victory that gave the Bulldogs their second shutout of the day over Pittston Area.
Berwick started the day by finishing off a suspended game with a 2-0 victory.
T.J. Lashock went 6-for-7 with two doubles and six RBI for Berwick in the two games.
Josh Razvillas, Jordan Houseman and John Kielbasa had the only Pittston Area hits.
Michael Schwab did not allow an earned run in the suspended game. He went the distance, giving up six hits and walking two while striking out four.
Lawrence, who worked the first four innings, and DiValerio, who pitched the fifth, each struck out two in the no-hitter.
PA at Crestwood
PA at Hazleton
Lake Lehman at WA
WA at Tunkhannock 4 p.m.