Hazleton Area battles back but falls short in subregional to Williamsport

By Dave Rosengrant - For Times Leader
Hazleton batter Jerome Repetz takes his base after being walked in the sixth inning with bases loaded to bring the Cougars with in one run 4-3 Monday at PNC Field. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Hazleton batter Frank DeGaetano reacts to being walked with bases loaded in the sixth inning as he throws his bat toward the dugout to bring the score to 4-2 against Williamsport. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Hazletons Ryan Pietrzyk walks back to the dugout after striking out to end the game as the Williamsport players rush out to the mound Monday at PNC Field. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Williamsport celebrates their 4-3 win over Hazleton at PNC Field Moosic Monday. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Hazleton catcher Thomas Pleban just misses making a diving catch of a pop-up near the plate during the sixth inning of Monday’s District 2-4 subregional game at PNC Field, Moosic. Williamsport hung on to beat the Cougars 4-3. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader

MOOSIC – Facing a tough right-hander, Hazleton Area was silenced for the early part of Monday’s District 2-4 Class 6A subregional game against Williamsport.

By the time the offense got going, the Cougars could have used a few more outs as they fell to the Millionaires 4-3 at PNC Field.

“They threw good pitching at us and we battled the whole way,” Hazleton Area coach Gino Cara said. “I told the guys don’t hang your heads on it. You played well and lost a 4-3 game to a good team.”

Williamsport moves on to the first round of the state tournament on June 4. Meanwhile, the Cougars have one more game left in their season. They will play for the District 2 Class 6A championship against West Scranton on Friday at a site and time to be determined.

Williamsport wasted little time getting things started. Quentin Brown led off the game with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored a few batters later on a single by Ethan Stryker for the 1-0 lead.

The Millionaires padded the lead in the second inning on a three-run double from Brown to extend the score to 4-0.

Facing a four-run deficit after two innings, the Cougars finally showed a little life in the fifth inning against Tanner Esposito, who changed speeds dramatically thanks to a hard fastball sitting in the mid to upper 80s and a breaking ball more than 10 miles per hour slower at times.

“He throws very hard and was hitting some good spots and mixed it in with a very good curveball that he had good command of. So that’s tough to adjust to,” Cara said.

Chris Heim, who went 2 for 3, hit his second double of the game to start the fifth. Frank DeGaetano followed with a single to bring in the team’s first run, but he was picked off first before the next batter saw a pitch to hurt the team’s chances of putting up a crooked number.

The Cougars were right back at it again in the sixth, loading the bases with two outs before a pair of bases-loaded walks got the score within 4-3.

“We kinds lost firepower at the end there,” Heim said. “If we started at the beginning, we probably would’ve ended up winning this game.”

Of the 12 players that saw action for the Cougars in the game only four seniors played, giving the young team a lot to look forward to in the future after Friday’s D2 title game.

“Obviously, we’re not going to go to states, but out goal right now is to work hard this week and get a District 2 title,” Cara added. “The program is real deep and there’s a lot of talent there. Nothing that I think we need to be concerned about going forward. You hate to lose your seniors, but there’s a lot of hope for the future.”

District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional

Williamsport 4, Hazleton Area 3

Hazleton Area`AB`R`H`BI

Amentler cf`4`0`0`0

Devin rf`4`0`0`0

Pietrzyk 1b` 3`0`0`0

McGowan ss`3`1`1`0

Colyer 3b`3`1`1`0

Heim lf`3`1`2`0

DeGaetano p`2`0`1`2

Antolick p`0`0`0`0

Gentile c`0`0`0`0

Repetz dh`1`0`0`1

Pleban c `0`0`0`0

Vozar 2b`3`0`0`0

Totals`26`3`5`3

Williamsport`AB`R`H`BI

Brown cf`2`1`2`3

Esposito p `4`0`0`0

Rowello 2b`3`0`0`0

Stryker 1b` 3`0`3`1

Pardoe lf`3`0`0`0

Fagnano 3b`3`0`0`0

Shimp rf`3`1`1`0

Jolin c`2`1`1`0

Joy ss`2`1`0`0

Hilner rf`1`0`0`0

Totals`26`4`7`4

2B: Heim 2, Brown

Hazleton Area`000`012`0xx` —`3

Williamsport`130`000`xxx`—`4

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

DeGaetano (L) `4+`7`4`4`2`4

Antolick `1.0`0`0`0`0`1

Repetz`1.0`0`0`0`1`1

Williamsport `IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Esposito (W) `5.2`5`3`1`2`7

Shimp (S)`1.1`0`0`0`2`1

Hazleton batter Jerome Repetz takes his base after being walked in the sixth inning with bases loaded to bring the Cougars with in one run 4-3 Monday at PNC Field.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_6a3_faa.jpgHazleton batter Jerome Repetz takes his base after being walked in the sixth inning with bases loaded to bring the Cougars with in one run 4-3 Monday at PNC Field. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Hazleton batter Frank DeGaetano reacts to being walked with bases loaded in the sixth inning as he throws his bat toward the dugout to bring the score to 4-2 against Williamsport.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_6a2_faa.jpgHazleton batter Frank DeGaetano reacts to being walked with bases loaded in the sixth inning as he throws his bat toward the dugout to bring the score to 4-2 against Williamsport. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Hazletons Ryan Pietrzyk walks back to the dugout after striking out to end the game as the Williamsport players rush out to the mound Monday at PNC Field.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_6a4_faa.jpgHazletons Ryan Pietrzyk walks back to the dugout after striking out to end the game as the Williamsport players rush out to the mound Monday at PNC Field. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Williamsport celebrates their 4-3 win over Hazleton at PNC Field Moosic Monday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_6a5_faa.jpgWilliamsport celebrates their 4-3 win over Hazleton at PNC Field Moosic Monday. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Hazleton catcher Thomas Pleban just misses making a diving catch of a pop-up near the plate during the sixth inning of Monday’s District 2-4 subregional game at PNC Field, Moosic. Williamsport hung on to beat the Cougars 4-3.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_6a1_faa.jpgHazleton catcher Thomas Pleban just misses making a diving catch of a pop-up near the plate during the sixth inning of Monday’s District 2-4 subregional game at PNC Field, Moosic. Williamsport hung on to beat the Cougars 4-3. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Hazleton Area battles back after falling behind early, but lose 4-3

By Dave Rosengrant

For Times Leader