Plymouth’s Andrew Tressa beats the throw to Mountain Post first baseman Matt Lamore in the second inning.FRED ADAMS/THE TIMES LEADER
Mountain Post’s Josh Hammerstone tags out Andrew Tressa of Plymouth in the second inning.FRED ADAMS/THE TIMES LEADER
WRIGHT TWP. – All season, Plymouth-Grontkowski was hitting the tar out of the ball and outscoring opponents by an average of nine runs a game.
On Tuesday, however, in the Wyoming Valley American Legion League championship game against Mountain Post, the team needed small ball to take home its second straight league championship with a 3-2 win.
With Mountain Post pitcher Kyle Belanchik on the verge of working out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the sixth inning in 2-2 tie, Plymouth hitter Chris Pollick tried a suicide squeeze.
Fortunately for Plymouth, Pollick didn’t get the bunt down. Instead, the Wyoming Valley West senior hit a 3-2 fastball up the middle for a run-scoring infield single.
“The squeeze, I thought we were going to catch them off-guard and score a run and (Mountain Post third baseman) Billy Baratta said he wasn’t expecting it at all,” Plymouth manager T.J. Carlin said. “He didn’t bunt it and missed it, but I was just hoping for a run any way we could. If he got a hit or got hit or got a walk, I didn’t care.”
“I was just sitting back and looking to drive the ball up the middle,” Pollick said. “I was just looking to put the ball in play and see what happened and it went through.”
Plymouth (21-1) advances to the Region 5 Tournament and will open play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against the host team, Sunbury/Northumberland.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, trailing 2-0, Plymouth again resorted to using small ball to get a run in. First, Evan Robaczewski smacked a pinch-hit, run-scoring single to cut the lead to 2-1.
Then with runners on first and third, Matt Bustin, who was running for Robaczewski, was caught leaning off first base, but at the same time, Andrew Tressa stole home as Plymouth tied the score at 2.
Belanchik pitched a complete game for Mountain Post (17-6) and only allowed three hits through the first four innings, but Pollick, who pitched the first five innings for Plymouth, matched him only giving up two hits through the first four.
Mountain Post got to Pollick first as Matt Wotherspoon, the team’s number nine hitter smacked a two-run double with no outs in the top of the fifth for a 2-0 lead. But Pollick struck out the next three batters to get out trouble.
“We had them right were we wanted them, we just couldn’t get the big hits when we needed ’em,” Mountain Post postgrad centerfielder Kevin Wrenn said. “The bottom of the order did their job, but when we got to the top, we went down swinging.”
Al Clocker relieved Pollick in the sixth and only gave up one hit, while fanning two to earn the win.
Ryan Geffert led the Plymouth offense going 3-for-3, while Tressa was 2-for-3. Those two were the only players in the game to get more than one hit as Plymouth had eight hits and Mountain Post only salvaged four hits off Pollick and Clocker.
Berwick, comprised of players from the Berwick High School team which recently won a PIAA Class 3A championship, will battle Selinsgrove today at 5:30 p.m. at Selinsgrove High School for the Susquehanna Valley League title and the right to advance to the Region 5 Tournament.
Berwick (13-6) lost its first game of the double-elimination tourney, but has battled back to advance to the title game. Berwick defeated Selinsgrove (13-8) 4-2 on Monday to force the title game.
|Bedrin rf||3||0||0||0||Durling rf||3||0||0||0|
|Wrenn cf||2||0||0||0||Clocker cf||3||1||0||0|
|Chrismer c||3||0||0||0||Geffert 1b||3||0||3||0|
|MLamore 1b||3||0||1||0||Dolan pr||0||0||0||0|
|Payton pr||0||0||0||0||SZielen c||3||0||0||0|
|Baratta 3b||2||0||0||0||Gavrish pr||0||0||0||0|
|Sweeney lf||2||1||1||0||Moules lf||3||1||1||0|
|Belanchik p||2||1||0||0||Tressa ss||3||1||2||0|
|PLamore ss||3||0||1||0||Pollick p||3||0||1||1|
|Hmmrstne 2b||0||0||0||0||Alles 3b||2||0||0||0|
|Wthrspn dh||3||0||1||2||Rbczwsk ph||1||0||1||1|
2B – Wotherspoon
2008 -- Plymouth
2007 -- Plymouth
2006 - Plains
2005 - Greater Pittston
2004 - Greater Pittston
2003 - Greater Pittston
2002 -- Greater Pittston
2001 - Nanticoke
2000 - Nanticoke
1999 - Greater Pittston
1998 - Plymouth
1997 - Greater Pittston
1996 - Plains
1995 - Wilkes-Barre
1994 - Nanticoke
1993 - Hazleton
1992 - Nanticoke
1991 - Back Mountain and Hanover
1990 - Greater Pittston
1989 - Plymouth
1988 - Back Mountain
1987 - Plymouth
1986 - Northwest-Benton
1985 - Plymouth
1984 - Hanover and Plains
1983 - Greater Pittston
1982 - Swoyersville
1981 - Wilkes-Barre
1980 - Plains
1979 - Wilkes-Barre
1978 - Greater Pittston
1977 - Greater Pittston
1976 - Greater Pittston