Plains power

June 27th, 2015 1:11 am

First Posted: 7/2/2013

MOUNTAINTOP - As a young fan of baseball going as far back as he can remember, T.J. Wozniak can appreciate the major league youth movement that’s turned the game into child’s play for a few guys who’ve yet to turn 24.

“Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout,” Wozniak said, rattling off his list of current heroes. “I like to follow the young guys.”

Someday, Wozniak hopes to join them.

And the Plains Little Leaguer did nothing to put a damper on those dreams Tuesday, launching two long home runs while powering Plains to a 12-2 victory over Mountain Top in a District 16 Major Baseball playoff game shortened to four innings by the 10-run rule at the Mountain Top Little League Complex.

“He’s been on fire ever since All-Stars started,” Plains coach Kyle Costello said. “He’s a great kid, does everything you ask of him.”

Wozniak even pitched, working the final three innings of one-hit shutout ball while recording five strikeouts to nail down a victory that sent Plains back home to host a winner’s bracket game Friday.

“Just hit the ball hard, drive it in the gaps,” is what Wozniak said he was trying to do.

Better yet, he kept driving it right over the wall.

Wozniak followed Kyle Costello’s sharp single in the first inning with a blast over the left-center field fence, giving Plains a quick 2-0 lead.

After Garret Wardle drove home Tanner Smith with an infield single later in the first inning, Mountain Top pulled within 3-2 on Dean Ambosie’s two-run homer.

But Wozniak unloaded another bomb - again with Costello aboard - driving a second-inning shot over the right-center field wall to get Plains comfortable again, 5-2.

“Tell them what I texted you before the game,” Costello prodded his power hitter.

“Big game tonight,” Wozniak said.

His big shots triggered an avalanche of power from Plains, which scored seven more runs in the fourth inning when Carl Yastremski blasted a three-run bomb over the center field wall and a two-run homer from Costello got the game to the 10-run rule.

“It’s a snowball effect,” Costello said. “One guy hits, the next guy hits, it just snowballs.”

In between those two seventh-inning homers, Wardle collected his second RBI single of the day and Jamie Pahler added a run-scoring double.

“We’ve been doing pretty well as a team,” Wozniak said.

But this offensive outburst was impressive, even for Plains.

“We’ve been struggling with the bats a little bit lately,” Costello said. “This is what our team’s capable of when we hit one through nine.”

And all this without perhaps the best hitter on the Plains team. League star Tony Agenio, who was expected to be slotted in the middle of the Plains All-Star lineup, suffered a broken ankle two days before the start of the district tournament and will spend the rest of this season encouraging his fellow All-Star teammates.

“I’ve played with him ever since I was 8 or 9,” Wozniak said. “He’s a great kid.”

Looks like Plains found another one to lead the charge.

“We’re in the driver’s seat,” Costello said. “We’ve got all our pitching set up.”


Jeff Mondulick rf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Noah Stankinas rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kyle Costello ss`4`3`3`2`0`0`1

T.J. Wozniak 3b,p`3`3`3`4`0`0`2

Tanner Smith 1b,3b`4`2`2`0`0`0`0

Carl Yastremski 2b`2`1`1`3`0`0`1

Zach Jarnot p`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Gavin Baranski cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ben Yozwiak c`2`1`0`0`0`0`0

Garret Wardle lf`2`1`2`2`0`0`0

Jamie Pahler cf,1b`2`1`1`1`1`0`0

Eddie Beniek cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Mountain Top`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR

Josh Sepela ss`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tom Borhem c`2`1`1`0`0`0`0

Dean Ambosie 1b,2b`2`1`1`2`0`0`1

Kevin Frisbie p,1b`1`0`1`0`0`0`0

Anthony Kovalchik 2b,p`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

David Wickiser 3b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jeff Schmude lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Sean Murphy lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mike Palmiero cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Chris Margenziano cf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jake Antosh rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Pat Lyle rf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Plains`320`7 - 12


E - Plains 0, Mountaintop 4.


Zach Jarnot`1`2`2`2`1`0

T.J. Wozniak, W`3`1`0`0`0`5


Kevin Frisbie, L`2 1/3`6`5`4`2`1

Anthony Kovalchik`1 1/3`6`7`4`2`0

HBP - Yastremski (by Frisbie). WP - Kovalchik.