Strong pitching performance, angry offensive attack lead team to regional finals.

Last updated: July 24. 2013 12:37AM - 1738 Views
By - psokoloski@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6392

Greater Pittston's Jordan Zezza dives back safely to first base during a game against Swoyersville earlier Tuesday. Greater Pittston won its late game Tuesday over South Scranton, 9-1, to stay alive in the American Legion Region 5 Tournament.
Greater Pittston's Jordan Zezza dives back safely to first base during a game against Swoyersville earlier Tuesday. Greater Pittston won its late game Tuesday over South Scranton, 9-1, to stay alive in the American Legion Region 5 Tournament.
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HANOVER TWP. — The guy on the mound for Greater Pittston wasn’t about to give in.

His teammates weren’t going to give up.

And because of it, a deflated team gave itself another shot at winning the double-elimination Region 5 American Legion baseball title.

Adam Romanowski used a superb pitching performance to raise his team’s spirit, Jake Granteed and the offense erupted from the start and Greater Pittston took out its frustration from dropping an earlier showdown Tuesday by smashing South Scranton, 9-1 in a Region 5 elimination game at the Hanover Area High School baseball field.

“You know, our team likes to get down on itself,” said Romanowski, who helped Greater Pittston rebound from 4-2 loss to unbeaten Swoyersville earlier in the day. “Then we just forget about it. We know it’s in the past. We know what we have to do.”

What Romanowski did was provide Greater Pittston with a big lift.

The gritty righthander allowed just one unearned run on three hits — and only one of those singles left the infield — while pitching brilliantly for eight innings. The only run South Scranton managed against him scored when the relay throw on a potential double play grounder was dropped.

“Adam’s been here awhile,” said Greater Pittston manager Jerry Ranieli, whose team will face Jersey Shore at 11 a.m. today in a game that will send the winner against Swoyersville for the Region 5 championship at 1:30 p.m. at Hanover Area. “He came in and shut them down. He kept them really off-balance.”

Romanowski struck out four, walked just two, and was so efficient he needed just 60 pitches to complete eight innings — including a three-pitch sixth that left him celebrating the feat. With the possibility of playing two games today, Romanowski was pulled short of a complete game in case he’s needed on the mound in the finals.

“They were chasing sliders at the beginning of the game,” Romanowski said. “And throughout the game, my fastball seemed to pick up.”

Things picked up quickly for Greater Pittston.

In a revamped batting order from the morning loss to Swoyersville, Jordan Zezza slammed a one-out single and later scored on an error in the first inning, before Trent Grove singled home Granteed with a 2-0 Greater Pittston lead.

“We had a lack of offense that first game,” Ranieli said. “We thought, ‘OK, we’ll shake it up a little bit.’”

Greater Pittston shook up the scoreboard with a six-run second inning, starting with Erik Walkowiak’s two-run double. Two batters later, Granteed blasted a two-run triple before Joe Gavenonis added an RBI single and Dylan Maloney drove home a run with a double.

Greater Pittston tacked on its final run in the third, when Chuck Bressler came home on Walkowiak’s grounder.

“We kind of changed our lineup,” Granteed said. “We put up a bunch of runs the first couple innings.”

“It’s win-lose the inning,” Romanowski said. “Each inning, we try to win that inning. And if we don’t, we have five, six more innings left to win. The inning is a game in itself.”

Now, Greater Pittston gets at least another game against Jersey Shore, while hoping for another crack at Swoyersville.

“They were a little down, they really wanted that (morning) game (against Swoyersville),” Ranieli said of his guys. “It’s a mark of a good championship team to re-focus. You’ve got to play the team that’s in front of you.”

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

Erik Walkowiak cf`5`1`1`3`1`0`0

Jordan Zezza lf`5`2`2`0`0`0`0

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

Joe Gavenonis rf`5`1`1`2`0`0`0

Trent Grove c`4`0`1`1`0`0`0

Adam Romanowski p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Matt Mott p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dylan Maloney dh`4`0`1`1`1`0`0

Justin Martinelli ss`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Chuck Bressler 1b`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Mike Carey 2b`4`1`3`0`0`0`0


South Scranton`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR

Matt Harte 2b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

John Joe Gustin lf,rf`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Ricky Ettinger p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Shaemus Lunney dh,1b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Noah Laske cf`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Justin Belardi rf,p`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Justin Schreck p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Alex Judge 3b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Zach Fiscus 1b,lf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jimmy Petrucci c`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Matt Destefano c`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tommy Orzello ss`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Greater Pittston`261`000`000 - 9

South Scranton`010`000`000 - 1

LOB - Greater Pittston 5, South Scranton 3. DP - Greater Pittston 1, South Scranton 1. E - Gustin 2, Orzello, Ettinger, Bressler, Martinelli. SB - Grove, Martinelli, Zezza. CS - Harte, Gustin.

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

Romanowski, W`8`3`1`0`2`4


South Scranton`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Ettinger, L`1 1/3`5`5`3`0`1

Belardi`5 2/3`5`4`3`1`1


WP - Ettinger, Belardi.

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