Last updated: July 15. 2013 12:56AM - 3328 Views

Greater Pittston's Joe Gavenonis, right, is congratulated by teammate Trent Grove after hitting a two-run homer against Tunkhannock in an American Legion playoff game in Rice Township on Sunday afternoon.
Greater Pittston's Joe Gavenonis, right, is congratulated by teammate Trent Grove after hitting a two-run homer against Tunkhannock in an American Legion playoff game in Rice Township on Sunday afternoon.
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RICE TWP. – After pitching for Lackawanna College earlier in the year, Dylan Maloney played in a summer league in Myrtle Beach for the last few months.

Still being eligible for American Legion Baseball, he rejoined the Greater Pittston team he played for the last several years.

The new addition came through big for Greater Pittston on Sunday, tossing a complete-game, five-hitter in his first start of the season for the team he’s so familiar with. He whiffed nine, helping GP beat Tunkhannock 3-2 in the winner’s bracket final of the Wyoming Valley American Legion League playoffs.

“It’s an ace and like getting Randy Johnson at the trade deadline,” Greater Pittston coach Jerry Ranieli said. “So we put him on the roster because he said he’d be back. He’s on there, so we’re gonna use him.”

With the win, Greater Pittston is one win away from joining league champion Swoyersville in the upcoming Region 5 Tournament and advancing to regionals for the second straight year.

Tunkhannock, also a regional participant last year, will play Nanticoke tonight at 5:30 at Mountain Post 781 in an elimination game. Nanticoke dispatched Hazleton on Sunday afternoon, 6-2.

Today’s winner plays, and will have to beat, Pittston twice to move on to the regional tournament, which begins Saturday and will be played at Hanover Area High School and Spartan Stadium.

While the left-handed Maloney pitched brilliantly, retiring the last eight batters he faced, the game-winning hit came off the bat of third baseman Jake Granteed (2 for 4), who laced an RBI-single to left scoring Jordan Zezza (3 for 4, 2 runs) with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

“I was just looking to get the last two runs in so we can move on to the championship,” said Granteed, who saw six pitches in the at-bat versus Alex Zaner before ending the game.

Another big addition for Greater Pittston came before the season when Joey Gavenonis, who starred for Swoyersville’s junior program last season, transferred to Wyoming Area and joined GP. He’s been the cleanup hitter for the club most of the season.

He got the scoring started Sunday by blasting a two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the first to put his team ahead 2-0.

“In my opinion, he’s the league MVP this year,” Ranieli said. “He had 30 hits, four home runs, 20-some RBI…He’s our rock in the four-hole now. The whole team is balanced, but he’s our power guy.”

Tunkhannock scored a run on a wild pitch in the top of the third to trim the deficit in half then tied it at 2-2 in the fifth when a run came in on a fielder’s choice. But that fielder’s choice was the last baserunner Tunkhannock got against Maloney.

Jordan Faux led Tunkhannock’s offense, going 2 for 2, while Alex Zaner threw 3 1-3 scoreless innings before allowing the game-ending run to score.

Nanticoke stayed alive getting a complete-game effort from starter Nick Deno, who gave up just five hits and fanned six. Perhaps the biggest contribution for the winners came with clutch hits. Five of the team’s six runs scored with two outs. Christian Pack started the scoring with a two-out run-scoring hit in the bottom of the third. Mickey Ferrence followed with a two-run single putting Nanticoke in front 3-1 as it erased a 1-0 deficit.

Deno came through with a two-out single plating two in the fifth, extending Nanticoke’s lead to 5-2 while Joe Yudichak (2 for 3, 2 doubles) doubled in a run in the sixth.

“We play a team concept and with wooden bats that’s just how it falls,” Nanticoke coach Joe Yudichak said about his team’s two-out hits. “It seems that the team that gets the two-out hits wins.”

Bob Briggs had a pair of hits and scored twice for Nanticoke, while Luke Stawick had two hits for Hazleton.

Nanticoke 6, Hazleton 2


Steve Seach rf`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Rich Gawel 3b`3`2`1`0`0`0`0

Luke Stawick p`4`0`2`1`0`0`0

Mitch O’Donnell ss`3`0`1`1`1`0`0

T.J. Chirico 1b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Robbie John c`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kyle Klein lf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dominic Cara 2b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dave Klein cf`3`0`1`0`0`0`0



Zach Kollar ss`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Christian Pack 2b`3`1`1`1`0`0`0

Mickey Ferrence rf`2`0`1`2`0`0`0

Nick Deno p`3`0`1`2`0`0`0

Mike Bugonowicz 1b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

John Wickiser cf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jack Windt dh`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Morgan Higgs 3b`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Joe Yudichak c`3`1`2`1`2`0`0

Bob Briggs lf`3`2`2`0`0`0`0


Hazleton`100`010`0`- 2

Nanticoke`003`021`x`- 6


Stawick (L)`4.1`6`5`5`0`3



Deno (W)`7`5`2`2`2`2

Greater Pittston 3, Tunkhannock 2


Lance Sherry cf`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Jordan Faux 2b`2`0`2`0`0`0`0

Ty Weiss 1b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Josh McClain 3b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Alex Zaner ss/p`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Race Sick c`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ryan Weiss lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jordan Hannon ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ricky Clark rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Doug Thomas rf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Aaron Holton p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Cody Brown dh/ss`3`1`1`0`0`0`0


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

Jordan Zezza cf`4`2`3`0`0`0`0

Mike Carey 2b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jake Granteed 3b`4`0`2`1`0`0`0

Joe Gavenonis rf`3`1`1`2`0`0`1

Dylan Maloney p`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Matt Mott lf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tyler Loftus dh`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Justin Martinelli ss`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Chuck Bressler 1b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Trent Grove c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Tunkhannock`001`010`0`- 2

Greater Pittston`200`000`1`- 3



Zaner (L)`3.1`3`1`1`1`5

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

Maloney (L)`7`5`2`2`1`9

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