There was still one more chance ahead, but Wyoming Area baseball coach Chick Androscavage knew the sixth inning represented his team’s best opportunity.
Working from the top of the batting order, the Warriors produced all of their runs Tuesday in a 3-2 victory over host Pittston Area in the annual Andy Ashby Game.
“One of the big things for us is getting our leadoff man on,” Androscavage said. “It was lucky that we came up that inning with the top of our order.
“It was our last big chance.”
Nick O’Brien and Mike Carey got on to start the inning. Bart Chupka and Trent Grove followed with RBI singles, delivering the runs that erased a 1-0 deficit to tie the game, then put the Warriors in front.
“That’s like a catalyst to us,” Androscavage said. “If we can get our lead-off guys on, we have hitters coming behind and we can do it.”
Chupka eventually scored as well when pinch hitter Joe Gavenonis drew a bases-loaded walk.
“We got guys on, finally, early in the inning and were able to move them,” Androscavage said.
Jake Granteed kept the Warriors in the game until the offense could come through.
Granteed and Pittston Area starter Bucky Schwab kept the game scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when the Patriots moved in front, 1-0.
“He is our number-one pitcher, then we fill in with a bunch of other guys,” Androscavage said of Granteed. “It was nice that he got to pitch against them.”
Granteed received the game’s Most Valuable Player Award after throwing a six-hitter with five strikeouts. He did not walk a batter or allow an earned runner. At the plate, he also added a hit. Ashby presented the MVP trophy which he sponsors.
“I pretty much have looked forward to this game since my sophomore year,” Granteed said. “I always wanted pitch in the Ashby Game.”
Granteed used his usual mix of pitches, taking advantage of being able to throw each for strikes Tuesday.
“He throws a lot of off-speed stuff,” Androscavage said. “He keeps hitters off-balance, then comes in with his fastball.
“He’s one heckuva competitor. He loves to battle. He never wants to come out of a game.”
Part of Granteed’s battle was trying to adjust to the Pittston Area offense.
“I pretty much had all my pitches working,” Granteed said. “They were crowding the plate, so I was working inside.”
O’Brien and Chupka each finished with two of Wyoming Area’s seven hits.
Felix Mascelli had two hits and a run for Pittston Area while Josh Razvillas had a hit and scored the other run.
Ashby became a local resident after pitching for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons on the way to a 14-year Major League Baseball career that featured 309 appearances for five teams and 98 wins.
Wyoming Area 5, Crestwood 4
Wyoming Area made it two straight Wyoming Valley Conference victories when Joe Gavenonis, Mike Carey and Nick O’Brien combined on a three-hitter in a 5-4 win over Crestwood.
The Warriors opened a 5-0 lead after four innings then held on.
O’Brien, Jake Granteed and Gavenonis each had a double and single to lead the offense. Eric Walkowiak drove in two runs.
Gavenonis struck out five in 5 2/3 innings. Carey struck out three in one inning and Carey got a strikeout for the game’s final out.
The Warriors used the win to improve to 3-2 and tie Dallas and Tunkhannock for first place in Division 2 of the WVC.
Wyoming Area will play a crossover game against Couglin today at PNC Field in Moosic. The game will follow the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders International League game against the Syracuse Chiefs and is tentatively set to begin at 5 p.m.
Holy Redeemer 3, Wyoming Area 1
The Warriors managed just four hits while falling to Holy Redeemer, 3-1, Monday in the completion of a game that had been suspended a week earlier because of rain. Mike Carey doubled for the only Wyoming Area extra-base hit. Bart Chupka drove in the only run in the first inning.
Carey also threw 2 2/3 hitless innings in relief.
Wyoming Valley West 9, Pittston Area 7
Wyoming Valley West took advantage of three home runs to defeat Pittston Area, 9-7, Monday. Josh Razvillas went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI to lead the Patriots offensively. Cody Rowan had two hits, Pat McGinty drove in two runs and Michael Delaney scored twice.
Pittston Area is 1-4 and last in Division 1 of the WVC.
Coughlin at WA (PNC Park)
Tunkhannock at PA
PA at Lake lehman
Hazleton at WA