With both teams fighting for a spot in the upcoming Wyoming Valley American Legion playoffs, one inning could make or break the game, or a season for Old Forge and Plains.
Unfortunately one inning – an extra inning – broke both for the Post 513 team on Friday night at Pagnotti Park in Old Forge.
After Old Forge fought back to force extras, Plains’ Dom Gulius trickled a sacrifice bunt in the top half of the eighth which was fielded and launched past the first basemen - allowing the go-ahead run to score from second as Plains trumped Post 513, 3-2, to remain alive for the WVAL postseason which starts Saturday at Mountain Post.
Plains tacked on a run right out of the gate courtesy of Joe Parsnik. After Bob Sorokas drew a walk and Anthony Grillini followed with a single, Parsnik laced an RBI double to left scoring Sorokas from second as Plains took the early lead 1-0.
Old Forge starter Ian Nemeworked out of the inning, retiring the final two batters to end the threat, and keep Post 513 in the game.
Post 513 answered back in the home half of the second when Dom Avvisato was hit by a pitch, and Derek Drasba drew a walk. After a strikeout and a passed ball, Nemetz helped out his own cause with an RBI-fielder’s choice to plate Avvisato from third as Old Forge evened up the score at 1-1.
Plains starter Grillini dominated throughout the middle innings as Nemetz used timely pitches along with a solid defense behind him to keep the visitors off-balance until the sixth inning.
But in the sixth, Sorokas led off the sixth with a single to first. After a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to right, Parsnik connected on his second RBI of the game as he slapped an fielder’s choice to shortstop, scoring Sorokas as Plains (12-5) took a late 2-1 advantage.
Connor Fultz launched Old Forge’s first hit of the game, a single to center and was quickly chased over to second on a single by AJ Phillips.
With momentum switching hands, Drasba followed one batter later with an RBI single to left scoring, Fultz from third to tie the game at 2-2. Grillini restored order and retired the final two batters he faced, ending the threat.
Entering extra innings, Anthony Grillini led off the eighth with a sharp double - which screamed just past a diving Dave Chromey at first base – to set up the eventual game-winning run.
Nemetz went five inning allowing four hits and one earned run and four strikeouts. Phillips allowed three hits in three innings of relief in taking the hard-luck loss for Old Forge.
Old Forge (7-9) will travel to West Pittston today for a doubleheader with Greater Pittston, starting at noon. They will complete their season during the week with a game on Tuesday at Nanticoke, and a game on Thursday against Wilkes-Barre.
Old Forge was shutout by Swoyersville, 4-0, in WVAL action on Tuesday afternoon at Pagnotti Park.
Connor Fultz, Tyler Loftus and Ryan Fletcher each had two hits for Post 513 who actually out hit their opponent, 10-9.
Pittston Area’s Brandon Pernot scattered eight hits over five innings in allowing three unearned runs in being charged with the loss.
Ryan Fletcher earned a complete-game win as Old Forge beat up Tunkhannock, 15-2, in a WVAL game on Monday in Wyoming County.
Fletcher scattered five hits and seven walks while striking out six in seven innings of work against Tunkhannock.
Connor Fultz and Ian Nemetz supplied the offense for Post 513, each driving in three runs.
Dave Argust added two hits and two RBI for Old Forge, and John Jurosky also added two hits.
GP v. Old Forge (DH) noon
Plains v. Tunkhannock
GP at Mountain Post
OF at Nanticoke
Plains at Wilkes-Barre
OF at Wilkes-Barre
at Mountain Post