Back Mountain National wins, Pittston/Duryea ousted

By John Erzar - [email protected]
Back Mountain National’s Joey Peters is congratulated after hitting a three-run homer run in the third inning against Abington National in the Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game Sunday night at the Duryea Little League. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National pitcher Aiden Bunkhardt (center) is congratulated by Zach Paczewski and Joey Peters after making a diving catch in front of home plate for an out in the third inning Sunday night. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National shortstop Zach Paczewski makes the throw to first after fielding a ground ball to put out Abington National’s Ryan Nealonin the first inning Sunday night. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National catcher Gavin Adamski looks to the bench for the signal in the Section 5 Little League Major Game with Abington National on Sunday night. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National pitcher Aiden Burkhardt allowed two hits and struck out six in five innings to pick up the win Sunday night. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader

DURYEA — Back Mountain National is in the driver’s seat. Pittston City/Duryea’s road ended.

Three Section 5 Little League Major Baseball games at Duryea Little League on Sunday sorted out the path to the state tournament.

Host Pittston City/Duryea, the District 16 champion, was eliminated with two losses. PCD fell 14-4 to D17 champion Abington National in the completion of a game suspended Saturday night due to heavy rain and lightning. PCD then dropped a 13-5 decision to D32 champion Green Ridge.

D31 champion Back Mountain National ended up in great shape, defeating Abington National 4-1 in the final game of the night behind the strong pitching of Aiden Burkhardt and a three-run homer by Joey Peters.

Undefeated BMN will now have two cracks at winning the Section 5 title and a spot in the state tournament. It will play 6 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of Monday’s elimination bracket final between Abington National and Green Ridge. If BMN loses Tuesday, it could still clinch the tournament with a win Wednesday.

“Now it’s a matter of getting ready to go on Tuesday and see who we play,” BMN manager Gary Peters said.

PCD trailed Green Ridge 5-0 before tying the score with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded, Dom Innamorati and Jake Dobrowski walked to force in runs. Nic Borgia later added a two-run single to left-center.

Green Ridge, though, regained the lead on Brian Gola’s RBI single in the fifth and took complete control with a seven-run sixth inning. Green Ridge finished with 15 hits. PCD managed five.

The BMN vs. Abington National game was a pitchers’ duel between Burkhardt and Abington National’s Ryan Nealon until BMN scored three times in the third inning.

Burkhardt led off the third with a walk. Gavin Adamski followed an out later with an infield single — the first hit of the game — before Peters lined a homer to left center for a 3-0 advantage.

“He hits the ball hard. He has a good swing,” said Peters, who is also Joey’s dad. “When he hits the barrel, it can go especially with these new bats. This year home runs were down, but he did have a couple during the year.

“We teach kids (to hit) line drives. Home runs are mistakes. When these guys go in there, they’re swinging for line drives. They want to hit the barrel of the bat.”

Abington National had trouble doing that against Burkhardt, who allowed two hits and fanned six through five innings before reaching his pitch limit. Sam Barrouk pitched a 1-2-3 sixth for the save.

Abington National managed to cut the deficit to 3-1 in the fourth as Mark Nazar singled for his team’s first hit, moved to second on a walk, to third on a flyout and scored on a wild pitch.

BMN managed just one more hit against Nealon, who struck out eight through five innings. Pinch hitter Mike Timinski opened the fifth with a double then used two wild pitches to score.

“He’s a phenomenal pitcher,” Peters said of Nealon. “He’s the best thing we’ve seen all year. He’s a great kid and we told him when we were shaking hands that he did an awesome job. Our kids were making contact, their kids were making some contact. Aiden did a phenomenal job for us.”

SECTION 5 8-10 BASEBALL

Back Mtn. National 11, Dunmore 7

Sam Finarelli had two doubles and Carter Brunn and Chris Sholtis each had two hits to lead Back Mountain National to a victory over Dunmore at the Jenkins Township Little League field.

Starting pitcher Sholtis recorded the win for BMN. Dylan Geskey and Kyle Chesman each added doubles.

Dunmore was led by Max Forgione, Bobby Hoban and Cory Domiano, all of whom collected extra base hits.

**************************************

SECTION 5 MAJOR BASEBALL

(all games at Duryea Little League)

Sunday’s Results

Abington National 14, Pittston City/Duryea 4

Green Ridge 13, Pittston City/Duryea 5

Back Mtn. National 4, Abington National 1

Monday’s Game

Green Ridge vs. Abington National, 6 p.m.

Tuesday’s Game

Back Mtn. National vs. Green Ridge/Abington Nat. winner, 6 p.m.

Wednesday’s Game

(If Back Mtn. National loses Tuesday)

Back Mtn. National vs. Green Ridge/Abington Nat. winner, 6 p.m.

Back Mountain National’s Joey Peters is congratulated after hitting a three-run homer run in the third inning against Abington National in the Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game Sunday night at the Duryea Little League.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_sec5_1_faa.jpgBack Mountain National’s Joey Peters is congratulated after hitting a three-run homer run in the third inning against Abington National in the Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game Sunday night at the Duryea Little League. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National pitcher Aiden Bunkhardt (center) is congratulated by Zach Paczewski and Joey Peters after making a diving catch in front of home plate for an out in the third inning Sunday night.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_sec5_2_faa.jpgBack Mountain National pitcher Aiden Bunkhardt (center) is congratulated by Zach Paczewski and Joey Peters after making a diving catch in front of home plate for an out in the third inning Sunday night. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National shortstop Zach Paczewski makes the throw to first after fielding a ground ball to put out Abington National’s Ryan Nealonin the first inning Sunday night.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_sec5_3_faa.jpgBack Mountain National shortstop Zach Paczewski makes the throw to first after fielding a ground ball to put out Abington National’s Ryan Nealonin the first inning Sunday night. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National catcher Gavin Adamski looks to the bench for the signal in the Section 5 Little League Major Game with Abington National on Sunday night.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_sec5_4_faa.jpgBack Mountain National catcher Gavin Adamski looks to the bench for the signal in the Section 5 Little League Major Game with Abington National on Sunday night. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National pitcher Aiden Burkhardt allowed two hits and struck out six in five innings to pick up the win Sunday night.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_sec5_5_faa.jpgBack Mountain National pitcher Aiden Burkhardt allowed two hits and struck out six in five innings to pick up the win Sunday night. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

By John Erzar

[email protected]

SECTION 5 MAJOR BASEBALL

(all games at Duryea Little League)

Sunday’s Results

Abington National 14, Pittston City/Duryea 4

Green Ridge 13, Pittston City/Duryea 5

Back Mtn. National 4, Abington National 1

Monday’s Game

Green Ridge vs. Abington National, 6 p.m.

Tuesday’s Game

Back Mtn. National vs. Green Ridge/Abington Nat. winner, 6 p.m.

Wednesday’s Game

(If Back Mtn. National loses Tuesday)

Back Mtn. National vs. Green Ridge/Abington Nat. winner, 6 p.m.

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar