Wyoming Area moved into a share of the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 baseball lead during the past week.
Only a loss during a game in which its starting pitcher threw a no-hitter prevents Pittston Area from saying the same in Division 1.
The teams will have many games against division rivals ahead that will potentially play a greater role in determining their title hopes, but there is no mistaking than Monday’s game will feel like the biggest of the season for many involved.
Pittston Area will visit Atlas Field Monday at 4:15 to play Wyoming Area in a WVC crossover game that serves as the annual Andy Ashby Game.
“It’s definitely an exciting game any time you play Pittston Area,” said Wyoming Area’s Dean Carey, who will be a head coach in the game for the first time. “The history is there and it’s nice being part of it as the head coach.”
Ashby, who resides in the Pittston Area School District, first came to the area as a pitcher with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons on the way to pitching in the 1998 World Series for the San Diego Padres against the New York Yankees as part of a 14-year Major League Baseball career in which he produced 98 wins.
This will be the 17th straight year in which the Most Valuable Player of the game will receive an award sponsored by Ashby.
“The blood’s pumping a little extra for this one,” Carey said. “It’s a big deal. It’s one of the highlights of our season.”
Wyoming Area shares the Division 2 lead with Tunkhannock at 3-2.
Pittston Area is 3-2 and tied for third in Division 1 with Coughlin, one game behind Hazleton Area and Berwick.
“It’s going to be a nice challenge to see how far we’ve come,” Carey said.
Pittston Area 2
Michael Schwab threw the first no-hitter of the WVC season, but four errors by the Patriots led to the four unearned runs that carried Berwick to a 4-2 victory in the Division 1 game Thursday.
Schwab struck out four and walked four in the six-inning effort.
Joseph Champi was 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Pittston Area offense.
West Scranton 4
Wyoming Area 3
The Warriors went to Scranton Thursday night for a non-league game and suffered a 4-3 loss.
Hazleton Area 11
Wyoming Area 7
Wyoming Area battled it out with WVC Division 1 co-leader and host Hazleton Area Wednesday night until allowing a seven-run sixth inning that led the Cougars to an 11-7 victory.
The Warriors had a four-game winning streak and took a 4-3 lead midway through the game.
After Hazleton Area stormed to an 11-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Wyoming Area managed to bring the winning run to the plate in the seventh.
Joey Gavenonis had two hits, including a homer, and drove in three runs to lead the Wyoming Area offense. Corey Lescavage and Kyle Charney also homered and Zach Lopatka had two hits.
Winning pitcher Dante Biasi drove in four runs for Hazleton Area.
Pittston Area 10
Joseph Champi went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI Tuesday to lead Pittston Area to a 10-1 romp over Lake-Lehman.
Josh Razvillas had a triple and single while Tyler McGarry, Danny Constantino and James Emmett also had two hits.
John Fagotti worked the first six innings for the win, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Wyoming Area 6
Collin Heron threw a four-hitter April 12 when Wyoming Area handed Tunkhannock its first loss, 6-1, to move into a tie for the WVC Division 2 lead.
Herron struck out six, walked two and allowed only an unearned run.
“He threw a really good game,” Carey said. “The advantage was he worked ahead of all the hitters. He threw strikes and he threw his curveball for strikes.
“It’s a lot easier if you’re always ahead of the hitters.”
Leadoff hitter Tino Romanelli went 2-for-3 with a two runs and two RBI. Joey Gavenonis also had two hits while Tyler Mitchell drove in two runs.