Old Forge second baseman Mario Martinelli makes a play on a ball during the Blue Devils win over Blue Ridge.photo by rick notari
Old Forge’s Tony Goodall fires a pitch to the plate in the Blue Devils win over Blue Ridge on Thursday afternoon in a District 2 Class 1A playoff game.photo by rick notari
Old Forge cruised behind the pitching and hitting of senior Tony Goodall to advance to the District 2 Class 1A championship game for the fifth straight season with a 9-0 victory over third-seeded Blue Ridge on Thursday afternoon at Pagnotti Park. The Blue Devils will face top-seed Lackawanna Trail for the third consecutive season in the final on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at PNC Field in Moosic.
Goodall cracked a second-inning, three-run home run to cap a five-run inning that put Old Forge (13-3) in control early.
The inning started with Dave Argust drawing a walk and moving to second on a groundout by Dom Avvisato. Argust then scored on a bloop single over the shortstop’s head by Russ McGlynn for a 1-0 lead. McGlynn – who reached base in all four of his at-bats – advanced to second on a passed ball and scored when Gary Puckett ripped a single to center.
Two pitches later Chris Talipski was hit with a pitch, and on a 2-2 count, Goodall ripped a fastball over the right field fence for a three-run homer and a 5-0 lead.
On the mound, Goodall retired the first six batters before allowing a humpback liner over Argust’s head at third base. But the veteran righty struck out the next three batters, and retired seven straight before giving up a fifth-inning double. Goodall did not allow Blue Ridge (8-8) more than one runner on base in any inning until the seventh when he gave up a two-out single and a walk before striking out the final hitter for the win.
The Blue Devils added a run in the third when McGlynn walked, moved to second when Puckett walked and to third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Talipski. Goodall then forced McGlynn in by drawing a bases-loaded walk for a 6-0 lead.
Old Forge tacked on three more runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Connor Fultz, Argust and Talipski to put the game away at 9-0.
McGlynn finished with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for the Blue Devils, and Puckett also smacked two hits and drove in a run while reaching base all four time at-bat.
Michael Long added a single and two stolen bases, and Argust singled and walked twice.
Goodall allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out eight in seven innings of work.
Four-time champion Old Forge opened defense of its District 2 Class 1A crown with a lopsided, 18-3, three-inning victory over Forest City on Tuesday afternoon at Pagnotti Park.
The Blue Devils scored four runs in the first, six in the second and eight in the third to put the Foresters away early by taking advantage of 10 base-on-balls and three hit batsmen.
Eight of the nine batters in the Old Forge lineup collected a hit, and seven of the nine drove in at least one run.
Dave Argust led the way with a three-run triple and three runs scored. Gary Puckett ripped a three-run double and walked twice for the Blue Devils, and Michael Long and Connor Fultz each had two-run singles.
Mario Martinelli singled and walked three times while scoring four runs, and Steve Mascaro drove in two runs for Old Forge (12-3).
Dave Chromey picked up the win for the Blue Devils scattering five hits and two walks over three innings.
Old Forge closed out the Lackawanna League Division II schedule with a come-from-behind 11-6 victory over arch-rival Riverside at the Quinlan Athletic Complex in Moosic last Saturday.
The Blue Devils trailed 5-0 before Tony Goodall’s three-run homer capped a six-run fourth inning to give Old Forge the season sweep over the Vikings.
Old Forge added three more runs in the fifth, and tacked on two in the sixth for the win.
Michael Long walked three times, scored three times and stole three bases to lead the Blue Devils offense. Chris Talipski added a two-run single for Old Forge, and Dave Argust added a single and two RBI.