West-1 puts it all together in rout of Pocono-1

By Tom Robinson - For Times Leader
Pocono 1 second baseman David Wickiser, of Holy Redeemer, chases down the ball behind West 1 base runner Gerald Taylor during Thursday’s game. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pocono 1 starter Cole Cherkas, of Pittston Area, delivers a pitch against West 1 in the Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township on Thursday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pocono 1 right fielder Matt Hayden, of Holy Redeemer, bare-hands the ball on a West 1 hit during Thursday’s Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pocono 1’s Anthony Macko, of Meyers, takes a lead off of first base against West 1 in the Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township on Thursday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pocono 1 catcher Dallas Greenwieg of Pleasant Valley, reaches too late to tag a West 1 player who scored during Thursday’s Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

PLAINS – West-1 arrived late, but its offense got started early in a 16-2 Keystone State Games Scholastic baseball rout of Pocono-1 Thursday night at Hilldale Field.

The baseball tournament was moved back Thursday and is being moved up Friday to continue working around the aftermath of heavy rains and the possibility of more arriving in the area later Friday.

West-1 had two games Thursday and had less time to move from Pittston Area’s field in Hughestown to Hilldale Field in Plains between games.

The route got complicated for some in the traveling party and the game against Pocono-1 was delayed close to an hour from the rescheduled time.

Pocono-1 players originally sat and waited for an opponent. Eventually lineup cards were filled out and Pocono took the field to start the game, only to learn that West was still waiting on some players and did not have all of those who were on the lineup card.

After a last-minute change to the batting order, the West came to the plate and immediately scored four runs.

Tanner Bordick and Bill Perroz each had two-run singles in the inning. Bordick, Perroz and their teammates were just getting started.

Bordick finished 3-for-3 with a walk, four runs and three RBI. Perroz went 2-for-2 with a walk, sacrifice fly, four RBI and two runs.

“One thing we know about West – and we’ve come here for a long time – is that they come here with hitters,” said Pocono head coach Sean Foley, who has coached in the Keystone Games for 20 years. “What was impressive about West is they are what I would consider experienced hitters.

“They did not try to do too much with what was thrown to them. They probably had double-digit hits in taking the ball up the middle and going the other way.”

The West also had strong pitching.

Lefty Ryan Feczko held Pocono hitless for two innings and scoreless for three before finishing the five-inning game with a five-hitter that included three walks and eight strikeouts.

The condensed tournament, in which teams play five games in 2½ days, made the opening night meeting of teams that had already won their openers significant.

West-1 put itself in good position by sweeping the Pocono teams, including a 16-5 win over Pocono-2 in Hughestown.

“The day the tournament runs, it gets very tight here with the game and on Day One, you definitely want to try to win both games,” Foley said. “But, you definitely got to come away 1-1.

“(Friday) you have two more. One team around here is probably going to come away undefeated and then there’s going to be a couple teams that are 2-2 or 3-1 at the end of the day. Day Two is the most important day.”

Blue Mountain is tied with West-1 at 2-0 going into their Friday morning meeting. The early games have been moved up to 9 a.m. to give a better chance of getting two games played for each team.

Pocono-1 and Lehigh Valley are 1-1 and play each other at the Pittston Area Primary Center in another 9 a.m. game.

The Keystone Games Media Center was closed after the West-1/Pocono-1 game ended, but Foley said discussions were being held about moving the 2 p.m. games, which include the two Pocono teams against each other, up to noon or 1 p.m.

West-1 added five runs in the third and three in the fourth for a 12-0 lead.

Anthony Macko doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and scored the first Pocono-1 run. He singled in the fifth to drive in the other.

David Wickiser had a double to drive in Macko.

“West threw their best pitcher,” Foley said. “He was a quality pitcher and quality pitching will beat hitting when it’s on.

“He was definitely on. One thing I’m proud of about my players is that as the third, fourth and fifth inning came, our at-bats got a little more solid. We started to put a little more pressure and had more chances as the game went on. They had a lot of fight and did not lay down.”

In addition to scoring one run each in the fourth and fifth, Pocono left the bases loaded in the fourth and runners on the corners in the fifth.

Keiffer Hoover and Stew Caladie had the other Pocono hits.

Pocono 1 second baseman David Wickiser, of Holy Redeemer, chases down the ball behind West 1 base runner Gerald Taylor during Thursday’s game.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072718KSGBaseball_1.jpgPocono 1 second baseman David Wickiser, of Holy Redeemer, chases down the ball behind West 1 base runner Gerald Taylor during Thursday’s game. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pocono 1 starter Cole Cherkas, of Pittston Area, delivers a pitch against West 1 in the Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township on Thursday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072718KSGBaseball_2.jpgPocono 1 starter Cole Cherkas, of Pittston Area, delivers a pitch against West 1 in the Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township on Thursday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pocono 1 right fielder Matt Hayden, of Holy Redeemer, bare-hands the ball on a West 1 hit during Thursday’s Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072718KSGBaseball_4.jpgPocono 1 right fielder Matt Hayden, of Holy Redeemer, bare-hands the ball on a West 1 hit during Thursday’s Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pocono 1’s Anthony Macko, of Meyers, takes a lead off of first base against West 1 in the Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township on Thursday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072718KSGBaseball_5.jpgPocono 1’s Anthony Macko, of Meyers, takes a lead off of first base against West 1 in the Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township on Thursday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pocono 1 catcher Dallas Greenwieg of Pleasant Valley, reaches too late to tag a West 1 player who scored during Thursday’s Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL072718KSGBaseball_3.jpgPocono 1 catcher Dallas Greenwieg of Pleasant Valley, reaches too late to tag a West 1 player who scored during Thursday’s Keystone State Games at Hilldale Park in Plains Township. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Tom Robinson

For Times Leader