Last updated: May 17. 2013 11:53PM - 2753 Views
By - jerzar@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6394



BILL TARUTIS/FOR THE TIMES LEADERDallas' Nigel Stearns, left, slides safely under the tag of Pittston Area third baseman Justin Martinelli in a first round game of the District 2 Class 3A baseball tournament in Dallas Township on Friday afternoon.
BILL TARUTIS/FOR THE TIMES LEADERDallas' Nigel Stearns, left, slides safely under the tag of Pittston Area third baseman Justin Martinelli in a first round game of the District 2 Class 3A baseball tournament in Dallas Township on Friday afternoon.
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DALLAS — As smoothly as the upset bid was progressing Friday afternoon, it abruptly started to show cracks in the bottom of the seventh.


One walk. Then another. And another. And a couple runs to close the gap to one. The din and chatter from the Pittston Area dugout shifted to the other side of the field where Dallas was whooping it up.


Through it all, Pittston Area lefty Michael Schwab endured just long enough as the 12th-seeded Patriots upset fifth-seeded Dallas 4-3 in the first round of the District 2 Class 3A baseball playoffs.


The victory sets up an unexpected quarterfinal on Tuesday at Pittston Area where the Patriots (5-11) will play 13th-seeded Crestwood (5-11). Crestwood knocked off fourth-seeded Tunkhannock 3-0.


Pittston Area led 4-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, with all four of the runs unearned off Dallas starter and University of Hartford recruit Brian Stepniak. Schwab struck out the last two batters in the sixth, retiring the Mountaineers in order for a second time.


Control, though, began to elude Schwab in the seventh. The senior started off throwing 11 consecutive balls and walked the bases loaded. Bill Gately, the first guy to walk, scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 4-2. Eric Zawatski later scored on a fielder’s choice and — after another walk — Dallas had runners on first and second with two outs.


Schwab then got a weak grounder to end the game.


“It’s funny because the same thing happened the other day against Hazleton,” Schwab said. “I seem to lose my mechanics in the seventh inning. But I credit my teammates and coach Zaf (Paul Zaffuto) for calming me down, for setting me right, getting my composure. I give him all the credit in the world because we went from outhouse to penthouse. It feels pretty good.”


Zaffuto had no plans on taking out Schwab, who was 1-5 during the Wyoming Valley Conference season but had a respectable 2.97 ERA.


“He was it, win or lose,” Zaffuto said. “We were going with him. That’s our horse, that’s our guy. You’re not going to find a better guy as a person. I’m glad for him.”


Meanwhile, Stepniak had about as much bad luck as possible. A dropped pop-up with two outs in the third allowed Pittston Area’s Pat McGinty to score from second. McGinty and Josh Razvillas crossed the plate in the fifth on a throwing error. And Mike Carey reached on an error to start the sixth and eventually scored what proved to be the game-winning run.


“I had on my pregame script here, ‘Be crisp with everything you do today,’ ” said Dallas coach Ken Kashatus as he looked at his notes on Pittston Area. “We were not crisp, we were sloppy. We put together a nice season — 9-5 coming from 2-13 last year and a lot of guys coming back.


“I can’t take away anything from my kids, but today we didn’t play like a team that was a five seed playing at home in May, nice day, nice crowd (against) a team we sort of buried the first time around here. I knew (Pittston Area) was going to be a different team.”


Pittston Area`AB`H`R`BI`2B`3B`HR


Josh Razvillas 1b`3`1`1`0`0`0`0


Michael Schwab p`4`0`1`0`1`0`0


Jordan Houseman c`4`0`1`1`0`0`0


Josh Kielbasa lf`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Cody Rowan rf`3`0`1`0`0`0`0


Mike Carey dh`4`1`0`0`0`0`0


Felix Mascelli 2b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Mike Delaney cf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Justin Martinelli 3b`2`0`0`1`0`0`0


John Faggotti pr`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Pat McGinty ss`3`2`2`0`0`0`0


Totals`29`4`6`2`1`0`0`0


Dallas`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR


Ryan Zapoticky rf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Nigel Stearns cf`3`1`2`0`0`0`0


Ben Narcum ph`1`0`0`1`0`0`0


Greg Petorak ss`3`0`1`0`0`0`0


Brian Stepniak p`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Justin Brojakowski 3b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Domenic Oliveri lf`3`0`1`0`0`0`0


Bill Gately c`2`1`0`0`0`0`0


Eric Zawatski dh`2`1`1`0`0`0`0


Rory Mullin 1b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Jordan McCrumm 2b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Totals`23`3`5`1`0`0`0


Pittston Area`001`021`0`—`4


Dallas`000`100`2`—`3


E — PA 2, Dallas 4. DP — PA 1. LOB — PA 8, Dallas 7. SAC — Martinelli, Zapoticky 2. SB — Rowan 2, McGinty, Houseman, Gately.


Pittston Area`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Schwab (W, 1-0)`7.0`5`3`2`6`3


Dallas`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Stepniak (L, 0-1)`7.0`6`4`0`2`8

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