Above from top left, Old Forge’s Mario Martinelli connects for a single against Mid Valley on Wednesday afternoon; Derek Drasba delivers a pitch for the Blue Devils; MIchael Long steals second base for Old Forge.photos by rick notari
Pittston Area’s Anthony Schwab (3) is airborn in celebration before scoring on Josh Savokinas’ game-winning home run against Valley West earlier this week.photo by charlotte bartizek
Above, Pittston Area’s Jordan Bone eyes up a pitch during the Patriots win over Valley West. Below, PA second baseball RJ Emmett (1) throws to first base to complete a double play against the Spartans.photos by charlott bartizek
Josh Savokinas thrives on pressure situations.
Among the league leaders in homers in the Wyoming Valley Conference, the senior ripped a three-run, walk-off homer to propel Pittston Area to a 7-5 come-from-behind win over Wyoming Valley West at the Bucky Harris Athletic Complex in Hughestown on Monday afternoon.
“Coach (John) Richards called it. Guy on first and second with me at the plate and the game will be over. So I said, ‘We’ll see you at the bottom of the pile,’” Savokinas elaborated. “I love coming up clutch in the game.”
Despite the victory, it wasn’t the greatest performance PA Coach Paul Zaffuto could have hoped for.
In first inning, starter Jim Castellino ran into some early inning woes. With two runners on, Chris Clocker ripped a three-run homer over the left field fence to give Valley West an early 3-0 advantage.
But the lead didn’t last long as the Patriot bats tacked on three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Table setter Jordan Bone led off with a line-drive single to left and was moved over to second after a sacrifice bunt. Savokinas then drilled a 400-foot shot off the center field wall chasing Bone in from second. One batter later, senior Ron Musto highlighted the inning with a two-run home run over the left-centerfield fence.
While both teams were held scoreless through the second inning, Valley West mustered another run off Castellino in the top of the third for a 4-3 lead.
The Patriots bats were held in check through most of the middle innings, accounting for just three base runners as Spartans pitcher Matt Zielen began to cruise.
But RJ Emmett broke up the drought with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4.
Pittston Area reliever Kyle Callahan entered the seventh with confidence and momentum on his side. However, he surrendered a lead-off walk and a sacrifice bunt which advanced the runner to second. After another walk, Joe Dosiak connected again on a short RBI single to right scoring Zielen for a 5-4 lead.
With their backs against the wall, Zaffuto made a daring, last-minute coaching move.
Freshman Josh Razvilla was summoned off the bench for a rare pinch-hit appearance. The moved paid off dearly for the Patriots as Razvilla came through with a lead-off double to start the inning. After a walk to Anthony Schwab, the Patriots were in business with two runners on, and nobody out.
After Valley West Reliever Matt Pechulis retired the next two batters, Savokinas connected on a low fastball for the game-winning round tripper.
“This is Savokinas’ fourth home run in three games. He’s swinging a hot bat and today we relied on the long ball for the win,” Zaffuto said.
“It was a down and in fastball. I love coming up clutch for my team,” Savokinas said.
Callahan got the win in relief, allowing one hit in two innings of work.
Castellino allowed four runs while recording two strikeouts and a walk in five innings while scattering five hits.
Five of the Patriots six hits went for extra-bases.
Three pitchers combined to allow just four hits and shortstop Josh Savokinas continued his torrid hitting as Pittston Area won its fourth straight game with a 5-4 decision over Coughlin on Thursday afternoon at Hilldale Ballpark in Plains.
Savokinas hit in his fifth straight game, raising his average to .666 with three hits in four at-bats. The senior is 12-for-18 on the season with 13 RBI and 12 runs scored, and has also knocked in a run and scored in all five games. He has eight extra-base hits on the season, including four home runs.
Chuck Bressler picked up the win for the Patriots in his first appearance of the season. The junior scattered two hits and three walks while striking out five in five innings. Brandon Pernot followed Bressler and walked two without recording an out before Kyle Callahan pitched two innings for the save. Only one of the Crusaders runs were earned.
Ron Musto added a two-run single for Pittston Area (4-1), and RJ Emmett chipped in with an RBI-single.
Jordan Bone, Josh Razvilla, AJ Mancini, Evan Hahn, and Matt Antal also added singles for the Patriots.
Pittston Area continued to roll, winning its third straight game with a 10-0, six-inning victory over Berwick on Wednesday afternoon in Columbia County.
Jordan Bone dominated on the hill, allowing just two hits and two walks in six innings of work. Bone also did some damage at the plate with three hits and two RBI while scoring two runs.
The Patriots exploded for seven run in the first two innings as Bone and Ron Musto stroked two-RBI hits.
Brian Delaney also drove in two runs for PA with a single, and Josh Savokinas and RJ Emmett both had RBI hits for the Patriots. Savokinas also scored three times for Pittston Area (3-1).
Wyoming Area picked up its first win of the season in a 7-2 victory over Crestwood in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division I crossover on Monday afternoon in Mountain Top.
Dylan Maloney went the distance for the Warriors, scattering three singles and four walks while striking out eight. The junior lefty did not allow an earned run in the complete-game victory. He also helped himself at the plate with an RBI double.
Randy McDermott and Nick O’Brien did most of the damage at the plate for Wyoming Area (1-4) as the Warriors scored a run in every inning but the first and seventh to support Maloney.
McDermott singled and doubled and drove in two runs while scoring one, and O’Brien also singled and doubled and drove in a run for WA. The sophomore centerfielder also scored two runs.
Kyle Colarusso added two singles for the Warriors, and Chris Murphy doubled in his first game back from elbow surgery.
Old Forge suffered its first loss of the Lackawanna League Division II season in a 6-3 loss to defending champ Valley View on Monday afternoon in Archbald.
The Blue Devils led 1-0 in the top of the first when Connor Fultz singled home Michael Long who had doubled with one out one batter before.
Valley View answered with a run in the second and three in the third to take a 4-1 lead. But Gary Puckett got Old Forge (4-1) back in the game with a two-run single in the top of the fourth, scoring Dom Avvisato and Dave Argust who had both singled, to get the Blue Devils within 4-3.
The Cougars scored two insurance runs in the sixth and set down Old Forge in the seventh to hold on for the win.
Mario Martinelli and Chris Talipski added doubles for the Blue Devils.
Tony Goodall was charged with the loss, allowing nine hits and four walks in six innings of work.
Old Forge lost its second consecutive game in an 8-3 loss to Mid Valley on Wednesday afternoon at Pagnotti Park.
The Blue Devils struggled defensively as two pitchers combined for six walks and the defense committed an uncharacteristic four errors which led to five unearned runs for the Spartans.
Trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Dom Avvisato ripped a two-run double to the right centerfield gap to get Old Forge (4-2) within three runs. But Mid Valley came right back with two in the sixth to put the game away.
Michael Long led the Blue Devils at the plate with two singles, a walk and a stolen base while scoring a run. Dave Argust added an RBI single for Old Forge.
Dave Chromey was charged with the loss in allowing five runs on five hits and four walks in 2.2 innings of work. Sophomore Derek Drasba saw his first varsity action out of the bullpen, allowing five hits and two walks in 4.1 innings of work.
S unday Dispatch Staff Writer Rick Notari also contributed to this report.
WVC Division I East
WVC Division I West
LL Division II
v. Wyoming Area
at PNC Field, Moosic
OF v. Riverside
PA at Tunkhannock
WA v. Hazleton
OF v. Dunmore
WA at Nanticoke