H.S. Baseball: Crestwood cashes in on mistakes, rallies to playoff win

By Jay Monahan - For Times Leader
Crestwood pitcher Corey Chalk got the starting nod for the Comets against Wyoming Valley West in District 2 Class 5A baseball playoffs held at Pittston Area on Wednesday. Crestwood came back in the bottom of the sixth inning to score nine runs and take the game 10-4. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Crestwood right fielder Wyatt Kindler battles the sun and goes high in the air to make a catch against Wyoming Valley West. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Wyoming Valley West catcher Stephen Banas bobbles the ball at the plate, as Zach Andrews crosses the plate with Crestwood’s first run in the bottom of the second inning. - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Crestwood third baseman Michael Palmiero checks the runner at third before tossing to first for an out. - - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Wyoming Valley West runner Rich Kolesar (6) is safe as he slides under Crestwood catcher Justin Darden’s tag, tying the game at 1-1 in the in the top of the fifth inning. - - Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

HUGHESTOWN – Well before the comeback saw the light of day, there were rumblings in the Wyoming Valley West bleachers that something strange, something extraordinary was bound to happen. It almost always does at Pittston Area Primary Center field.

The ghosts of Hughestown showed their faces once again Wednesday.

A nine-run sixth inning propelled Crestwood to a 10-4 come-from-behind victory over Wyoming Valley West in a District 2 Class 5A baseball semifinal. A pair of Spartans’ mental mistakes turned the tables on a three-run lead that could have very easily been a scoreless inning.

Crestwood advances to the district championship game, as the second-seeded Comets face No. 1 North Pocono at PNC Field on Sunday at 6 p.m.

“I truly think that if you play the game of baseball, the experience does count,” Crestwood coach Tony Caladie said. “When younger teams get down, it’s tough for them to come back at times. I think older guys have a lot of fight of them. This group fought.”

The district semifinal was moved to Pittston Area, the site of last year’s brawl that led the Spartans to forfeit their final game, due to unplayable field conditions at the Crestwood site.

Pitching on two days’ rest from a 2 2/3 innings relief outing, the Spartans’ Nathan Baranski was dealing with a three-run lead into the sixth inning. He had retired 10 of his past 11 batters before Justin Darden and Brandon Brozena led off the sixth with back-to-back singles to center field.

After a walk loaded the bases, Wyoming Valley West had a clear opportunity to turn a double play. The throw from the second baseman came in low, and the shortstop was unable to field the ball out of his glove.

With two runs scored on the error and another on a groundout, Crestwood was bailed out of another opportunity that would have ended the inning with an even score. With runners on second and third base, a fielder’s choice to shortstop was relayed to the third baseman. Thinking that the play was a force out, the Valley West player stepped on the base and proceeded to the mound, keeping the inning alive and allowing the run to cross the plate.

“We’re young; a lot of those guys, it’s their first time playing varsity out there,” Spartans manager John Milius said. “I am not making excuses – you’ve got to know what to do with the ball when it’s hit to you. It’s not like basketball or whatever. You have time to react. We got a little lax on that.

“That kind of stuff leads up to you being on the short end.”

Brett Caladie scorched the go-ahead RBI hit on a liner sent to center field. Centerfielder Draig Ruff dove head-first for the ball but was unable to grasp it in his mitt, and Crestwood took a 6-4 lead. Colin Macko hit a two-run home run to left-center in the next at-bat.

“During the course of a game, things happen so quickly that when the other team makes a mistake, you take advantage,” coach Caladie said. “We have been a little bit lucky. We made mistakes too.”

Colby Jones notched the victory for the Comets in a two-inning relief performance. He did not allow a run, on two hits with a strikeout. He forced a game-inning unassisted double play to Macko to finish the game.

Crestwood’s Matt Taleroski finished with two hits and two stolen bases. Darden went 2-for-3, and Brandon Brozena provided two runs and two singles.

Corey Chalk retired the first 10 batters of the game until Ruff hit an opposite field single in the fourth inning.

Wyoming Valley West scored four runs in the fifth inning. Patrick Adamski led off with a walk, followed by a single up the middle by Tommy Federici. A pair of consecutive RBI singles up the middle by Ruff and Austin Sienkiewicz extended the Spartans’ lead to 4-1.

Federici and Ruff each had two hits for the Spartans. Baranoski finished with seven strikeouts in five innings.

DISTRICT 2 CLASS 4A

QUARTERFINALS

Dallas 2, Honesdale 1

After failing to put down a sacrifice bunt twice in the at-bat, Dallas’ Mike Collins did something even better.

Collins hit a 3-2 pitch up the middle with no outs in the seventh, scoring Zach Luksic as defending champion Dallas escaped with a victory over eighth-seeded Honesdale (3-10).

Top-seeded Dallas (13-1) will host fourth-seeded Tunkhannock (7-7) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. If the high school field is not in playable condition, then the game will be moved to the field above the Back Mountain Little League.

Luksic started the seventh with a pinch-hit double before Collins knocked him in. Drew Patton had Dallas’ other RBI in the fourth inning to tie the score 1-1.

Berwick 3, Scranton Prep 2

Jared Marshman pitched a six-hitter and struck out nine batters over six innings and the Bulldogs rewarded him with a three-run sixth inning that took Berwick to the district semifinals.

Sawyer Kemp pitched a perfect seventh to earn the save as Berwick readied for a showdown with Valley View in the semifinals. Valley View downed Nanticoke Area, 12-2 in another quarterfinal game Wednesday.

Ryan Stotler drove home a run and scored another in the sixth and Henry Novicki and Kaleb Gearinger also scored as Berwick rallied after Marshman surrendered a two-run homer in the second inning.

Tunkhannock 11, Wyoming Area 10

David Baltrusasitis ripped a home run, a double, drove home four runs and scored twice as the Tigers rallied from a 10-3 deficit in the fifth inning to come back for the victory.

Tunkhannock will face Dallas in the District 2 semfininals.

Nick Reposa ripped three hits and scored three runs in the win and Billy Dziak added two hits, two RBI and two runs scored. Tyler Faux finished with two RBI and Dennie Robinson had two RBI and scored a run.

Matt Wright had a double and triple among his three hits and finished with three RBI for the Warriors, while Dylan Melberger scored four runs and Dan Wiedl scored three times.

DISTRICT 2 CLASS 3A QUARTERFINALS

Hanover Area 6, Dunmore 1

Hanover Area senior Brett Stevens pitched seven innings of one-run baseball to power the Hawkeyes into Class 3A semifinals. Stevens struck out four batters as he picked up the win.

Kevin Polanco, Justin Stefanowicz and Todd Kolbicka all picked up two hats in the win. Polanco and Kolbicka picked up Hanover Area’s only extra-base hits. Both doubled.

DISTRICT 2 CLASS 5A SEMIFINALS

Crestwood 10, Wyoming Valley West 4

Wyoming Valley West`AB`R`H`BI

O’Kane lf`4`0`0`0

Ruff cf`4`1`2`1

Sienkiewicz ss`4`0`1`1

Packer rf`2`0`0`0

Kane 1b`3`0`0`0

Baranski p`0`0`0`0

Adamski dh`2`0`0`0

Kolesar pr`0`1`0`0

Federici 3b-p`3`1`2`0

Stevens pr`0`0`0`0

Banas c`2`0`0`0

Kobusky 2b-p`3`1`1`1

Totals`26`4`6`3

Crestwood`AB`R`H`BI

BCaladie ss`4`1`1`2

Macko 1b`4`1`1`2

Darden c`3`1`2`0

Bufunno pr`0`1`0`0

Toronzi 2b`0`0`0`0

Brozena dh`4`2`2`1

Palmiero 3b`3`1`1`1

Chalk p`1`0`0`0

Andrews pr`0`1`0`0

Jones p`2`0`0`1

Kindler rf`3`0`0`1

Knapp lf`2`1`1`1

Taleroski cf`3`1`2`0

Totals`29`10`10`9

Wyoming Valley West`000`040`0`—`4

Crestwood`010`009`x`—`10

2B — Federici. HR — Macko. SB — Ruff; Taleroski 2.

Wyoming Valley West`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Baranoski`5.1`5`5`3`3`7

Federici (L)`0.1`5`5`0`0`0

Kobusky`0.1`0`0`0`0`0

Crestwood`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Chalk`5`4`4`4`1`3

Jones (W)`2`2`0`0`0`1

DISTRICT 2 CLASS 4A

QUARTERFINALS

Dallas 2, Honesdale 1

Honesdale`AB`R`H`BI

Curreri ss`2`0`0`0

LaBracio 3b`3`0`0`0

DellAquilla c`3`0`0`0

Frigoletto rf`2`0`0`0

Beckert pr`0`1`0`0

Martin 2b`3`0`0`0

Williams cf`2`0`0`0

Bannan dh`2`0`1`1

Carroll p`3`0`0`0

Dennis 1b`1`0`0`0

Burmelin lf`2`0`0`0

Campen ph`1`0`0`0

Totals`32`1`1`1

Dallas`AB`R`H`BI

Kerdesky cf`3`0`1`0

McCrum ss`3`0`0`0

M.Luksic 3b`3`0`0`0

Lewis lf`0`1`0`0

Kocher dh`3`0`1`0

Lydon p`0`0`0`0

Mathers c`2`0`0`0

Patton p lf`2`0`1`1

Kapral p`0`0`0`0

Holdredge 1b`2`0`0`0

Z.Luksic ph`1`1`1`0

Collins rf`3`0`2`1

Lombardo 2b`1`0`1`0

Totals`23`2`7`2

Honesdale`000`100`0 – 1

Dallas`000`100`1 – 2

2B – Patton, Z.Luksic, Collins.

Honesdale`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Carroll L`6.0`7`2`2`1`8

Dallas`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Patton`5.1`1`1`1`4`11

Kapral`0.2`0`0`0`0`1

Lydon W`1.0`0`0`0`1`0

Berwick 3, Scranton Prep 2

Scranton Prep`AB`R`H`BI

Nalevanko p`4`0`2`0

Valvano c` 4`0`0`0

Granet ss` 4`0`3`0

Cimini 2b-p` 1`0`0`0

McCallister cf `2`0`0`0

O’Donnell dh` 3`0`0`0

Feibus lf` 0`0`0`0

Ferraro 1b` 3`0`0`0

Stallman rf` 3`1`0`0

Blake 3b` 3`1`1`2

Totals`27`2`6`2

Berwick`AB`R`H`BI

Markle ss` 3`0`0`0

McCracken lf` 3`0`1`0

Marshman p` 2`0`1`0

Kemp p` 0`0`0`0

Slusser 1b` 4`0`0`0

Novicki 2b` 3`1`1`0

Kishbaugh 3b` 3`0`1`0

Gearinger cf 3`1`1`0

Tanribilir rf` 2`0`0`0

Stotler dh` 2`1`1`1

Knorr c` 0`0`0`0

Totals`25`3`6`1

Scranton Prep`020`000`0 — 2

Berwick`000`003`x — 3

2B — Granet 2. HR — Blake.

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

Nalevanko, L`5.2`6`3`2`4`2

Cimini`0.1`0`0`0`2`1

Berwick`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Marshman, W`6`6`2`2`2`9

Kemp, S`1`0`0`0`0`1

Tunkhannock 11, Wyoming Area 10

Wyoming Area`AB`R`H`BI

Melberger 3b`3`4`2`0

Hallman p`0`0`0`0

Barletta p`0`0`0`0

Yochem dh`5`2`2`3

Wright rf`5`0`3`3

Coolbaugh lf-p`4`0`2`2

Rome 1b`3`0`0`0

Minichello cf`4`0`0`0

Petrucci c`3`1`1`0

Angellela 2b`2`0`0`0

Wiedl ss`3`3`0`0

Totals`32`10`10`8

Tunkhannock`AB`R`H`BI

T. Faux cf-3b`4`0`1`2

Mislevy c`3`1`0`0

Reposa ss`4`3`3`1

Munley p-cf`3`1`0`0

Goodwin 3b-p`3`1`1`0

Stephens rf`0`0`0`0

Dziak dh`3`2`2`2

Baaltrusaitis 1b`4`2`2`4

Robinson lf`3`1`1`2

Sackman 2b`2`0`0`0

Totals`29`11`10`11

Wyoming Area`130`330`0 — 10

Tunkhannock`200`153`x — 11

2B — Wright; Baltrusaitis. 3B — Wright. HR — Baltrusaitis.

Wyoming Area`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Hallman`4.2`8`8`8`2`1

Coolbaugh`0.2`1`2`2`2`1

Barletta, L`0.2`1`1`1`0`1

Tunkhannock`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Munley`3`6`6`6`4`3

Goodwin, W`4`4`4`2`3`3

DISTRICT 2 CLASS 3A

QUARTERFINALS

Hanover Area 6, Dunmore 1

Dunmore`AB`R`H`BI

Grippi ss`4`0`0`0

Ruggyero 2b`3`1`1`0

Walsh p`3`0`1`0

Hannah 3b`3`0`1`0

Galutto rf`3`0`0`0

Dorgia cf`3`0`2`0

Cordaro lf`3`0`0`0

Mondarano c`3`0`1`0

Sinan 1b`0`0`0`0

Blasko dh`2`0`0`0

Damiano ph`1`0`1`0

Totals`28`1`7`0

Hanover Area`AB`R`H`BI

Polanco 2b`3`0`2`0

Piscotty cf`4`1`1`0

Clarke ss`3`0`1`0

Stefanowicz 1b`4`0`2`1

Rowley pr`0`1`0`0

Harte c`3`2`1`0

Stevens p`0`0`0`0

Mercandante dh`3`0`0`0

Kolbicka 3b`3`1`2`1

Quaglia rf`3`1`1`2

Murphy lf`3`0`1`0

Totals`29`6`11`5

Dunmore`100`000`0 — 1

Hanover Area`012`030`0 — 0

2B — Dorgia, Polanco, Piscotty.

Dunmore`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Walsh`4.2`9`6`5`3`3

Aronica`1.1`1`0`0`0`1

Hanover Area`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Stevens`7`7`1`0`0`4

Crestwood pitcher Corey Chalk got the starting nod for the Comets against Wyoming Valley West in District 2 Class 5A baseball playoffs held at Pittston Area on Wednesday. Crestwood came back in the bottom of the sixth inning to score nine runs and take the game 10-4.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Crestwood-WVW-Boys-BB-1.jpgCrestwood pitcher Corey Chalk got the starting nod for the Comets against Wyoming Valley West in District 2 Class 5A baseball playoffs held at Pittston Area on Wednesday. Crestwood came back in the bottom of the sixth inning to score nine runs and take the game 10-4. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Crestwood right fielder Wyatt Kindler battles the sun and goes high in the air to make a catch against Wyoming Valley West.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Crestwood-WVW-Boys-BB-2.jpgCrestwood right fielder Wyatt Kindler battles the sun and goes high in the air to make a catch against Wyoming Valley West. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Wyoming Valley West catcher Stephen Banas bobbles the ball at the plate, as Zach Andrews crosses the plate with Crestwood’s first run in the bottom of the second inning.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Crestwood-WVW-Boys-BB-3.jpgWyoming Valley West catcher Stephen Banas bobbles the ball at the plate, as Zach Andrews crosses the plate with Crestwood’s first run in the bottom of the second inning. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Crestwood third baseman Michael Palmiero checks the runner at third before tossing to first for an out.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Crestwood-WVW-Boys-BB-4.jpgCrestwood third baseman Michael Palmiero checks the runner at third before tossing to first for an out. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Wyoming Valley West runner Rich Kolesar (6) is safe as he slides under Crestwood catcher Justin Darden’s tag, tying the game at 1-1 in the in the top of the fifth inning.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Crestwood-WVW-Boys-BB-5.jpgWyoming Valley West runner Rich Kolesar (6) is safe as he slides under Crestwood catcher Justin Darden’s tag, tying the game at 1-1 in the in the top of the fifth inning. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

By Jay Monahan

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports