— Maloney’s gem can’t stop Greater Pittston from dropping state Legion opener in extra innings.

Last updated: July 31. 2013 1:24AM - 1361 Views
By - psokoloski@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6392



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BOYERTOWN - The scene was completely familiar to Greater Pittston.


The ending … not so much.


So when Gabe Witmer dropped a bases-loaded, two-run single just inside the right-field line in the 10th inning Tuesday to lift Twin Valley to a 3-1 victory in a Pennsylvania American Legion state playoff opener, Greater Pittston had some recovery to do.


“Just one of those days,” Greater Pittston starting pitcher Dylan Maloney sighed.


Greater Pittston, the Wyoming Valley and Region 5 tournament champion, will have to regroup quickly. The team will face Blackhawk at 9:30 a.m. today in an elimination game.


“You saw us last week, we lost that heartbreaker to Swoyersville,” Greater Pittston manager Jerry Ranieli said. “We came back and won three in a row. We’ve got to win four in a row now and we’re right back where we want to be.”


Indeed, Greater Pittston’s no stranger to rebounding from disappointment.


The team composed of players mainly from Wyoming Area and Pittston Area high schools dropped the first game of the league championship tournament finals before winning that title. And playing with one tournament loss, Greater Pittston captured an 11-inning victory over Jersey Shore, then later that day rallied with six runs in the eighth inning to beat mighty Swoyersville for the Region 5 title.


“This one definitely hurt, though,” Maloney said. “Couple balls dropping here and there … this one was crushing.”


Nobody really crushed the ball against Maloney, who allowed just three hits over eight brilliant innings before being relieved with the game tied 1-1.


The only damage against him came Twin Valley scored the game’s first run in the fifth inning, when Kyle Travits walked, Jonathan Abbadusky singled and Izzack Albright walked on a controversial call to load the bases with two outs.


“I thought that (last) pitch was an easy strike for a strikeout,” Ranieli complained.


Maloney then hit Matt McInaw to force home Travits.


Other than that, Maloney was practically untouchable, striking out six while keeping Twin Valley from advancing anyone else past second base.


“I had all my pitches working,” Maloney said. “My curveball was working. The goal was to get ahead and make them put the ball in play.”


Greater Pittston played small ball to tie the game. Jake Granteed ripped a two-out single in the seventh inning, stole second base, then rode home on Joe Gavenonis’ sharp single to center field.


That was all the scoring until the 11th, as Maloney kept Twin Valley baffled until giving way to Greater Pittston relief corps to start the ninth inning.


“He shut them down the whole game,” Ranieli said. “Their run was scored on no hits.”


But Greater Pittston couldn’t get many either. Yet, Greater Pittston put runners in scoring position with a chance to win the game in both the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings, but couldn’t push one more across the board.


Maloney began the eighth by lining a single to center field and was quickly sacrificed to second base by Justin Martinelli. But Maloney was stranded there when Twin Valley reliever Eric Ryan recorded a strikeout and a fly out.


And Jordan Zezza gave Greater Pittston hope by slamming a one-out single in the ninth, then taking second base on a ground out. But he didn’t make it any farther, either.


“We’ve been off for a little bit,” Maloney said, noting Greater Pittston hasn’t played since winning the Region 5 championship last Wednesday, “haven’t seen live pitching in awhile. We’ll be alright, though.”


Twin Valley earned the right to play in the winner’s bracket today by rallying for two runs in the 10th.


Albright began the uprising by rifling a double off the bottom of the right field wall. McInaw reached on a bunt single and Ryan Plank was hit by a pitch, filling the bases and putting Greater Pittston in a world of trouble.


But Greater Pittston nearly escaped from it.


Shortstop Martinelli gunned down Albright at the plate on an infield bouncer, and relief pitcher Granteed fanned the inning’s second out.


That’s when Witmer plunked his two-out, two-run single just inside the line in short right field, bringing home McInaw and pinch runner Miles Moeller with the game’s final two runs.


“Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it goes against you,” Ranieli said. “Today, it went against us. But we’ve got to score more than one run to win games in this tournament.”


Twin Valley`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR


Jonathan Abbadusky cf`5`0`1`0`0`0`0


Izzack Albright ss`3`0`1`0`1`0`0


Matt McInaw 3b`2`1`1`1`0`0`0


Ryan Plank lf`4`0`1`0`0`0`0


Miles Moeller pr,lf`0`1`0`0`0`0`0


Tyler Sternat p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Eric Ryan p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Travis Royer dh`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Richard Lennon pr,dh`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


William Reardon 2b`5`0`0`0`0`0`0


Gabe Witmer rf`5`0`1`2`0`0`0


Brian Olson 1b`5`0`0`0`0`0`0


Kyle Trivits c`3`1`2`0`0`0`0


Totals`36`3`7`3`1`0`0


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


Erik Walkowiak cf`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Jordan Zezza rf,lf`4`0`1`0`0`0`0


Jake Granteed 3b,p`4`1`1`0`0`0`0


Joe Gavenonis lf,p`3`0`1`1`0`0`0


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


Dylan Maloney p,rf`4`0`2`0`0`0`0


Justin Martinelli ss`3`0`1`0`0`0`0


Chuck Bressler 1b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


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


Totals`32`1`6`1`0`0`0


Twin Valley`000`010`000`2 - 3


Greater Pittston`000`000`100`0 - 1


E - Plank. DP - Twin Valley 1. LOB - Twin Valley 11, Greater Pittston 4. Sac - Martinelli. SB - Granteed. CS - Albright, Olson.


Twin Valley`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Sternat`7`5`1`1`1`1


Ryan, W`3`1`0`0`1`2


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


Maloney`8`3`1`1`6`6


Gavenonis`1`2`1`1`0`2


Granteed, L`1`2`1`1`0`1


HBP - McInaw (by Maloney), Plank (by Granteed). WP - Maloney 2, Gavenonis.

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