Granteed’s arm, bat leads GP in opener

Last updated: July 12. 2014 10:10PM - 1005 Views
By Dave Rosengrant drosengrant@civitasmedia.com

Mike Wozniak of Plains gloves a baseball before relaying the throw over to first base for an out in the 4th inning during Saturday's American Legion baseball game against Greater Pittston in Kingston.
Mike Wozniak of Plains gloves a baseball before relaying the throw over to first base for an out in the 4th inning during Saturday's American Legion baseball game against Greater Pittston in Kingston.
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KINGSTON — Missing their coach might have brought out the best of the Greater Pittston American Legion team.

With head coach Jerry Ranieli off getting married, the Wyoming Valley American Legion League Tournament’s fourth-seeded GP squad knocked off No. 1 seed Plains, 7-3, in a playoff opener on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.

GP was backed by a superb effort from Jake Granteed on the mound and at the plate.

Granteed pitched a complete-game four-hitter and went 4 for 5 finishing a home run shy of the cycle, while driving in three runs and scoring two.

“The only thing I will tell Jerry Ranieli is ‘this is his wedding present,’” said acting-head coach Drew Whyte. “I hope he runs with it (today). He’s done a great job with them all year and I just happened to be here.”

Ranieli and his normal assistant coaches are expected back either today or tomorrow.

With the win, Greater Pittston (8-9) advances in the double-elimination tournament to play Nanticoke today at 4 p.m. at Spartan Stadium. Plains (12-5) will try to stay alive as it faces Tunkhannock in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Nanticoke defeated Tunkhannock, 8-2 in Saturday’s other game.

Granteed got the team’s offense going in the top of the second when he walloped a bases-loaded triple to centerfield for a 3-0 lead. The next batter, Joey Gavenonis then singled him in for a 4-0 lead off Plains starter Dave Marriggi, who only lasted 1 2/3 innings.

“I felt good hitting. I broke my bat after the third at-bat but still was hitting the ball good,” Granteed said about his day at the plate.

The four runs was all Granteed needed. He gave one back to Plains in the bottom of the second when the top seed had runners on second and third with one out and got a sac fly to cut the deficit to 4-1. The runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt. That started a stretch of Granteed facing the minimum during the next 12 batters. One of the keys for the right-hander on the afternoon was getting ahead of hitters; he got ahead of 20 of the 29 Plains hitters he faced.

“I was pretty much hitting the outside corner the whole game when I needed to,” Granteed said. “They’d crowd the plate and I’d go to the inside corner and bust them off and keep switching up the spots.”

With Granteed cruising on the mound, he was a part of a three-run sixth inning for the team at the plate singling and scoring as GP sent eight batters to the plate and took advantage of a Plains error to increase the lead to 7-1. The seven runs marked just the fourth time all season GP has scored seven runs or more.

“Offensively, this team has not been good recently and to put up seven is like putting up 77 for us,” Whyte said. “That was a good day for us.”

Plains reliever Dan Constantino had a nice outing in relief of Marriggi tossing 3 1/3 innings allowing just one run. But now Plains, which hasn’t lost to a team other than undefeated Swoyersville since a season-opening loss to Greater Pittston, has to battle back if its going to claim the league tournament title and join unbeaten Swoyersville in the Region 5 Tournament.

“I told them (the players) that we have the pitching and if anybody can come all the way back it’s us,” Plains coach Jerry Williams said. “There’s no doubt in my mind we can come all the way back.

“I thought Danny Constantino came in and did a really good job. He hasn’t really got a chance to throw for us much, but hopefully we get the chance to move on he will get that opportunity.”

Greater Pittston 7, Plains 3

Greater Pittston`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Jordan Zezza cf`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Jake Granteed p`5`2`4`3`1`1`0

Joey Gavenonis c`3`1`2`1`0`0`0

Jeremy Zezza ss`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Lou Tzomalis 2b`3`1`1`1`0`0`0

Tyler Mitchell 1b`1`1`0`1`0`0`0

Nick Gushka 3b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tyler Doherty lf`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Marty Cirelli rf`3`1`1`0`0`0`0



Dave Marriggi p`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Mike Wozniak 2b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Michael Schwab rf`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Joe Champi 3b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kyle Lupas 1b`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Dave Parsnik cf`2`1`1`0`0`1`0

Felix Mascelli ss`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Meric Adamczyk c`1`0`0`1`0`0`0

Kyle Turonis ph`1`0`0`1`0`0`0

Mike Carey lf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dan Constantino p`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

John Fagotti p`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Greater Pittston`040`003`0`—`7


Greater Pittston`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Jake Granteed (W)`7.0`4`3`2`1`3


Dave Marriggi (L)`1.2`5`4`4`3`3

Dan Constantino`3.1`4`1`1`3`5

John Fagotti`2`4`2`1`1`1

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