Pioneer City lads and lasses head into the District Two fray
Picture perfect baseball and softball weather is expected to arrive just as District 2 playoff action begins today Friday, May 19.
Lakeland (12-0) was finishing up regular season play on Tuesday and Wednesday and enters district play as the top seed.
The Chiefs have showcased a deep pitching staff and the ability to produce timely hitting and find a way to win close games.
They defeated Old Forge (1-0) despite not having a hit; rallied for five runs in their last at-bat in a triumph over Dunmore (8-6).
The Chiefs then defeated Western Wayne (6-5) with just three hits; and added close wins against Mid Valley (2-0) and Carbondale Area (4-2, 3-0).
Pitching has keyed the Chiefs ability to win close games by keeping opponents in check.
Senior Brad Richards has recorded a 4-0 record with 35 Ks, while sophomore Jake Hodorovich (4-0) has whiffed 31 batters.
Junior Dom Verrastro owns a 3-0 record and freshman Nick Berthoff posts a 1-0 mark.
At the plate, junior Nico Piraino leads the team with a .405 mark and 15 hits while junior, Matt Hayes bats .400 with 13 RBIs and 12 runs scored.
Sophomore Adam Retzbach is batting .333 with 16 RBIs.
Most likely, the Chiefs will open district action today at home against Riverside. Lakeland defeated Riverside 13-2 and faced them Wednesday to close regular season play.
Carbondale Area (4-9) will most likely visit Dunmore. The Chargers played the Bucks Tuesday and dropped a 2-1 game to them earlier this season.
Shawn Connolly leads the plate attack with a .357 batting average for 15 hits, three doubles and two homers while Nick Vadella and Stone Wormuth follow at .351 and .349.
Vadella has 13 hits while Wormuth owns 15 hits and seven RBIs. Andrew Manarchuck and Connolly top the pitching staff. Manarchuck has recorded 43 K's while Connolly has fanned 25 batters.
Today's winners advance to Monday's second round.
Western Wayne 5
The Chargers escaped with the win when Dom Gigliotti came on in relief with the tying run on second and ended Western Wayne's three-run rally on three pitches by getting a ground out to end the game.
Gigliotti also had two hits while Jordan Tolerico and Shawn Connolly each had two RBIs.
Mt. View 3
Forest City (9-2) stayed in a tie with Blue Ridge for the top spot. Tyler Clift led the winners with three hits and two RBIs.
Lakeland bunched all runs in the second frame and Dom Verrastro fired s one-hitter and had 12 Ks.
Shane Novitsky and Nico Piraino rapped two hits apiece.