MOOSIC – The Wyoming Valley Conference could not manage a hit for the first three innings of Sunday’s inaugural Field of Dreams baseball game at PNC Field.
By the time the bottom of the sixth inning rolled around, the Lackawanna League all-stars were searching for ways just to get an out.
Lackawanna Trail’s Pete Murazzi went into foul territory to provide one of the biggest outs of the game.
Murazzi’s sliding catch that carried him into the warning track along the fence down the right-field line stopped a five-run WVC rally and allowed the Lackawanna League to later escape with an 8-6, eight-inning victory in the senior all-star game.
The WVC rallied from a 6-1 deficit to tie the game, which was scheduled for seven innings, and put runners on second and third with two out.
“I knew we had two outs and it was all tied up,” said Murazzi, who batted .318 and had a 1.63 earned run average as a pitcher for the Lions this season. “I knew we needed an out.”
A fly ball by Tunkhannock’s Josh McClain provided that opportunity, but it was far from easy. Murazzi completed a long run and stretched out just before the high fly dropped to the turf.
“If felt great,” Murazzi said. “I knew I was going to catch it as soon as I saw how much room I had.
“I judged it well right off the bat.”
Players from Lackawanna Trail and Scranton Prep made big contributions to the Lackawanna League victory. Lakeland had three players selected and Abington Heights two, but they could not participate because they had state tournament games the next day and it is against Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association rules for players with eligibility remaining to participate in high school all-star games.
Murazzi went 1-for-2 at the plate and pitched one scoreless inning in which he allowed a hit and a walk.
Vic Rosa also represented Lackawanna Trail.
Rosa started in center field and was the first batter in the game’s history. He was hit by a pitch and scored the game’s first run. Rosa finished 0-for-1 with a walk and another run scored.
Chris Gaetano and Matt Sompel hurried from Scranton Prep’s graduation to make it just in time for the game.
Gaetano wound up leading the Lackawanna League offense. He was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and four runs scored. He also was hit by a pitch and drew a walk, following Rosa in each of the first two innings.
The starting right fielder scored the game-winning run when he tripled to center field with one out in the eighth and came in on a single by Valley View’s Liam Callejas.
Sompel played third base and went 0-for-3 with an RBI ground out.
Eric Grabowski, Joey Natale and Tyler Brady were selected from Lakeland. Kevin Elwell and Josh Slocum were picked from Abington Heights.