SCRANTON ‚?? In four previous games of the Commander‚??s Cup series, the home team went scoreless in 28 innings.
The Wyoming Valley American Legion League was fortunate to break that streak in the winner-take-all game of the best-of-five series. But the team couldn‚??t score enough to be the first home team to win a game as District 11 defeated the Wyoming Valley 4-1 at Battaglia Field to claim the coveted trophy.
‚??We broke the jinx, but unfortunately we couldn‚??t get the win,‚?Ě said WVALL co-manager Gary Gavrish from Swoyersville. ‚??All around it was a great effort.‚?Ě
The difference in Tuesday‚??s game was a two-run first inning and a two-run sixth inning by District 11 (Lackawanna County). The first two runs were setup when Chris Rebar attempted a safety squeeze with no outs in the top of the first. Not only was he successful, to plate the first run of the game, but he reached base himself and scored on a single by D.J. Novaczynski.
‚??Difference in the game was those seeing-eye hits,‚?Ě Gavrish added.
The Wyoming Valley trimmed the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the second and ended a 29-inning scoreless drought by the home team in the series when Plains‚?? Bob Sorokas singled, reached second on an error, third on a wild pitch and scored on another error.
But that‚??s all the team would get on the night. The WVALL only managed six hits with six players getting a hit. The team had a runner reach second three times after scoring in the second as D11 pitcher James Dunning, from West Scranton, kept mowing down hitters. Dunning threw a complete-game for the second time in the series and won for the second time in six days. On Tuesday, he struck out 11 and just allowed that one unearned run and didn‚??t allow any walks.
‚??That was great pitching from him,‚?Ě said Don Stark, from Plains, Wyoming Valley co-manager.‚?Ě
Wyoming Valley starter, Greater Pittston‚??s Dylan Maloney was just as good as Duensing after the shaky first inning.
The left-hander didn‚??t allow a hit after the first in throwing four innings and whiffing seven, while walking just two and giving up four hits.
The team from Lackawanna County added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the sixth on another run-scoring hit by Rebar (2-for-4) and Tanner Schmidt (3-for-4) scoring on a wild pitch.
Regardless of the outcome, it was a good experience for the Wyoming Valley players.
‚??Hopefully for some of the younger guys, being around the older guys gives them experience,‚?Ě Stark added. ‚??And for the older guys hopefully it gives them the experience they need to succeed at the next level.
‚??There is a lot of really young talent in the league and these players are going to be good.‚?Ě
|District 11||Wyoming Valley|
|Harte ss||3||2||1||0||O‚??Donnell lf||4||0||1||0|
|Schmidt 1b||4||1||3||0||Leonard 2b||3||0||1||0|
|Rebar rf||4||1||2||2||Ringsdorf ph||1||0||0||0|
|Repshis dh||2||0||0||0||Nowicki rf||3||0||1||0|
|Dunning p||0||0||0||0||Custer c||3||0||1||0|
|Novaczynski lf||2||0||1||1||Sorokas cf||2||1||1||0|
|Watral c||1||0||0||0||Pechulis 3b||3||0||0||0|
|Zaccheo ph||1||0||0||0||Zaner ss||3||0||0||0|
|Laske 1b||3||0||0||0||Polacheck 1b||2||0||0||0|
|Callejas 2b||2||0||0||0||Gulius ph||1||0||0||0|
|Ivanoff 2b||1||0||1||0||Maloney p||0||0||0||0|
|Villa cf||2||0||0||0||Goodwin dh||2||0||0||0|
|Petrucci cf||1||0||0||0||Petorak 3b||1||0||1||0|
2B ‚?? WV: Nowicki
Jenkins Township 9-10 softball Greater Wyoming Area 4, Swoyersville Jenkins Township 2
Stephanie Nowak earned the victory in the circle for Greater Wyoming Area, recording 10 strikeouts in the tournament final. Alyssa Gustitus, Evan Freeman, Lilly Harden and Jamie Shields each had key hits for Greater Wyoming Area.
Bernadette Lieback had 10 strikeouts for Swoyersville and Halley Gornka got a key hit.