Pittston City/Duryea powers way to D16 crown

By Tom Robinson - For Times Leader
Pittston City/Duryea’s Jacob Dobrowalski, left, gets congratulated by teammate Dominic Innamorati after hitting a grand slam against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Plains starter Jack Mihalchik follows through on a pitch against Pittston City/Duryea in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pittston City/Duryea starter Silvio Gardina delivers a pitch against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Plains shortstop Jacob Hunter throws to first after forcing out Pittston City/Duryea’s Louis Lussi at second base in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pittston City/Duryea’s Dominic Innamorati takes off from second base ahead of Plains shortstop Jacob Hunter in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pittston City/Duryea’s Jacob Dobrowalski watches his grand slam home run clear the right field fence against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship Monday night in Duryea. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

DURYEA – Jacob Dobrowalski saw two pitches Monday night.

He knocked them both out of sight.

Dobrowalski’s second-inning grand slam opened the scoring. His sixth-inning solo shot closed it and gave host Pittston City/Duryea a 6-5 victory over Plains in the District 16 Little League Baseball Major championship game.

In between, Dobrowalski took a break for a pinch hitter as Pittston City/Duryea manager Lou Lussi worked through his mandatory substitutions.

Dobrowalski, who played left field and hit eighth in the batting order, made the most of his time at the plate.

By hitting his first two home runs in all-star play, Dobrowalski assured that the Section 5 tournament will be played at the same Duryea Little League Field.

The extra pitches he saw in the days prior to the championship game may have made the difference.

“He had an excellent two days of practice,” Lussi said. “He struggled the first few (all-star) games making contact. He was over-swinging a bit.

“The last two days at practice, he was crushing them everywhere.”

With the game scoreless and the bases loaded, Dobrowalski came to the plate with none out in the second. He lined a shot that barely cleared the right-field fence but left the park in a hurry.

Until that swing, Dobrowalski was not certain that he had solved his hitting problems with the extra practice.

“I felt better after the home run,” said Dobrowalski, who had three homers during the regular season.

Plains rallied from five runs down, getting four runs in the bottom of the fifth, but leaving the bases loaded.

The tie lasted until Dobrowalski mashed the first pitch of the sixth. He sent a towering shot over the head of the center-field television cameraman standing on top of a truck to position him above and beyond the fence.

“I was not expecting that,” Dobrowalski said.

After appearing to lead comfortably for much of the game because of the first home run, Dobrowalski’s second shot put the Pittston City/Duryea in position to hang on behind strong relief pitching and a couple of defensive gems.

Nic Borgia came to the mound in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded. He walked the first batter on a close 3-2 pitch to force in the tying run, but then escaped the jam and pitched a scoreless bottom of the sixth for the win.

Borgia got help from an 8-4 fielder’s choice and a game-ending, overhead, back-handed snag of a line drive by shortstop Mickey O’Malley.

“He timed in unbelievable,” Lussi said. “You can’t teach that.”

Center fielder Dominic Innamorati got the force out after being unable to hold on for a sliding catch in the right-center field gap. Innamorati, who also had two hits in the game, scrambled to his feet quickly to make a strong throw.

Pittston City/Duryea also limited the damage in the fifth inning with the help of a strong relay throw by second baseman Silvio Giardina to cut down a runner at third in the middle of the four-run Plains inning.

Leadoff hitter Jack Senape had two hits for Plains and Jack Mihalchik, who got all but the final out on the mound, scored twice.

District 16 Major Baseball Championship

Pittston City/Duryea 6, Plains 5

Pittston City/Duryea`AB`R`H`BI

Borgia 2b-ss-p`3`0`1`0

Giardina p-2b`4`1`0`0

O’Malley ss-p`4`0`1`1

Montigney 3b`3`0`0`0

Innamorati cf`3`1`2`0

Mazonis 1b`2`1`1`0

O’Haire rf`1`1`0`0

Ross ph`1`0`0`0

Rusincovitch ph`1`0`0`0

Dobrowalski lf`2`2`2`5

Giamber ph`1`0`0`0

Lussi c`1`0`0`0

Bernardi ph`1`0`0`0

Totals`27`6`7`6

Plains`AB`R`H`BI

Senape c`3`1`2`1

Wychock lf`2`0`0`1

Coyne 1b`1`0`0`0

Chapple ph`2`0`1`0

Mihalchik p-ss`3`2`1`0

Hunter ss-2b`2`0`0`0

Gregor 2b-rf`2`0`0`0

Parry ph`0`0`0`0

Mosley 3b`2`0`1`1

Saracino rf-p`2`0`0`0

Latinski ph`0`1`0`0

Fernandes cf`2`1`0`0

Hendrzak ph`1`0`1`0

Totals`22`5`6`3

2B – O’Malley. HR – Dobrowalski 2.

Pittston City/Duryea`050`001`— 6

Plains`000`140`— 5

Pittston City/Duryea`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Giardina`4.0`2`2`2`4`5

O’Malley`0.2`3`3`3`2`0

Borgia (W)`1.1`1`0`0`1`2

Plains`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Mihalchik (L)`5.2`7`6`4`3`5

Saracino`0.1`0`0`0`0`1

Pittston City/Duryea’s Jacob Dobrowalski, left, gets congratulated by teammate Dominic Innamorati after hitting a grand slam against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D16Pitt-Plains_1.jpgPittston City/Duryea’s Jacob Dobrowalski, left, gets congratulated by teammate Dominic Innamorati after hitting a grand slam against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Plains starter Jack Mihalchik follows through on a pitch against Pittston City/Duryea in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D16Pitt-Plains_2.jpgPlains starter Jack Mihalchik follows through on a pitch against Pittston City/Duryea in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pittston City/Duryea starter Silvio Gardina delivers a pitch against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D16Pitt-Plains_3.jpgPittston City/Duryea starter Silvio Gardina delivers a pitch against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Plains shortstop Jacob Hunter throws to first after forcing out Pittston City/Duryea’s Louis Lussi at second base in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D16Pitt-Plains_4.jpgPlains shortstop Jacob Hunter throws to first after forcing out Pittston City/Duryea’s Louis Lussi at second base in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pittston City/Duryea’s Dominic Innamorati takes off from second base ahead of Plains shortstop Jacob Hunter in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D16Pitt-Plains_5.jpgPittston City/Duryea’s Dominic Innamorati takes off from second base ahead of Plains shortstop Jacob Hunter in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pittston City/Duryea’s Jacob Dobrowalski watches his grand slam home run clear the right field fence against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship Monday night in Duryea.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D16Pitt-Plains_6.jpgPittston City/Duryea’s Jacob Dobrowalski watches his grand slam home run clear the right field fence against Plains in the District 16 Little League Major Baseball championship Monday night in Duryea. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Tom Robinson

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