Last updated: July 14. 2013 12:54AM - 2526 Views
By - jerzar@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6394

Back Mountain's Ethan Zawatski hit three home runs in a losing effort against North Pocono in Saturday's Little League sectionals held in Archbald.
Back Mountain's Ethan Zawatski hit three home runs in a losing effort against North Pocono in Saturday's Little League sectionals held in Archbald.
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ARCHBALD — A few years later and the Back Mountain American All-Stars are in the same situation — needing to navigate through the elimination bracket in a Section 5 tournament.

In a battle of longballs, American came out just short as North Pocono posted an 11-9 victory Saturday in Little League Major Baseball at the Archbald Little League.

District 31 champion American will play D32 champ Archbald at 2 p.m. today in an elimination game at Archbald Little League. D17 champ North Pocono plays D16 champ Plains at 4 p.m. in the winners bracket final. The times of both games were changed from the original bracket.

“We’ve been here before as 10-year-olds and came back the hard way after we lost to North Pocono in the opening game,” American manager Jeff Doggett said. “What we’re going to have to do is take it a game at a time, keep winning innings. Keep piecing things together and not worry about winning the thing — just worry about winning innings.”

American started off well as Michael Luksic opened the game with a double and Ethan Zawatski followed with a home run. It was the first of three two-run homers by Zawatski, who finished 3-for-3 with six RBI.

The two-run lead didn’t last long as North Pocono struck for five runs in the bottom of the first — all with two outs. Nate McClain and Jake Mastillo each swatted two-run homers in the inning.

The power display continued in the second inning. Zawatski hit another two-run homer only to have Ryan Deom crack a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to keep North Pocono’s advantage at three — 7-4.

“The first game of tournament play up at Abington, we had five home runs in one inning,” North Pocono manager Joe Walsh said. “Three solos back-to-back-to-back and a two-run and two-run a batter away from the top and the bottom. We can hit it. We work hard on hitting with the kids.”

The fourth North Pocono homer looked like the backbreaker — a three-run shot by Nick Rinaldi in the fourth that helped increase the lead to 11-5. If that wasn’t, then the fifth appeared to be as American was retired in order for the first time.

Things, though, got interesting in American’s last trip to the plate. After an out to start the sixth, Luksic singled. Zawatski then followed with his third two-run homer. Michael Anderson followed with a solo shot, moving American within 11-8.

Michael Doggett then singled for the fourth consecutive American hit. An out later, Michael Collins and Mark Roginski reached on throwing errors, cutting the deficit to 11-9. North Pocono, though, finally got that elusive last out.

Back Mtn. American`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Michael Luksic c`4`2`2`0`1`0`0

Ethan Zawatski 3b`3`4`3`6`0`0`3

Michael Anderson cf`2`1`1`1`0`0`1

Michael Doggett p`3`1`2`0`1`0`0

Dalton Simpson 1b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Michael Collins ss`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mark Roginski lf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Darren Kerdesky ss`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Derek Answini 2b`2`1`0`0`0`0`0

John Betzko lf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mason Gattuso rf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


North Pocono`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Daniel Walsh 2b`4`1`1`0`1`0`0`0

Shane Lamparter cf`4`2`2`0`0`0`0

Ryan Deom ss`3`2`2`2`0`0`1

Nate McClain 1b`3`2`2`3`0`0`1

Nick Rinaldi p`2`2`1`3`0`0`1

Jake Mastillo 3b`3`1`2`2`0`0`1

Tom Ruddy c`1`1`1`0`0`0`0

Brenden Willich cf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Christian Honnerfield lf`1`0`1`0`0`0`0

Steve McNulty 2b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tom Rable rf`2`0`1`1`0`0`0

Brenton Dial rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Back Mountain American`220`104 — 9

North Pocono`520`40x — 11

Back Mtn. Amer.`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Doggett (L)`1.1`8`7`7`1`1




North Pocono`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Rinaldi (W)`3.1`4`5`4`7`4



Plains 2, Archbald 1

In the nightcap of the Section 5 Major Baseball tournament, Plains used a pair of homers from T.J. Wozniak to edge Archbald.

Wozniak homered in the first and fourth innings for Plains’ only hits of the game. The D16 champion will play D17 champion North Pocono at 4 p.m. today at Archbald Little League.

Eddie Biniek pitched five strong innings to pick up the win. Wozniak struck out the side in the sixth to earn the save.

Kyle Davies homered in the third from Archbald’s only run. Dixon Black pitched a complete game, fanning nine.

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