Last updated: July 22. 2014 11:14PM - 1123 Views
By - psokoloski@civitasmedia.com



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The key to Swoyersville’s ride to the brink of an American Legion regional baseball title isn’t just held by a couple of star players.


It’s owned by all of them.


That showed Tuesday, when every player in Swoyersville’s lineup contributed at least a little something to a 12-5 victory over Line Mountain and put the Wyoming Valley Conference power on the brink of a Pennsylvania American Legion Region 5 title.


“I guess it’s just been everybody playing their role,” said Swoyersville manager Sean Toole, whose team remained unbeaten at 22-0 on the season. “We’ve gotten contributions not only from the middle of our lineup, but it’s bench guys and the bottom of our order picking it up and the pitching staff. It’s been a whole team effort.


“If you want to make a run this deep in the playoffs, that’s what you need.”


Now, Swoyersville needs just one more win to capture the Region 5 championship and advance to the Pennsylvania state tournament, and has two cracks to get it.


Swoyersville can take the crown with a victory over its Wyoming Valley Legion foe Nanticoke in the regional finals of the double-elimination tournament at 9 a.m. today at Mansfield University’s Shaute Field. And if Nanticoke wins that morning game, the teams will meet again afterwards - likely around noon - to decide the championship.


Recent history suggests a monumental task awaits Nanticoke after Swoyersville won all three meetings between the teams this season, including Monday’s 13-3 thumping that clinched a spot in the finals for Swoyersville and sent a high-flying Nanticoke into a losers bracket game Tuesday.


But all of that hardly has Swoyersville resting easy.


“These guys understand what happened last year,” Toole said. “Baseball is a crazy game. Anything can happen at any point in time.”


What happened to Swoyersville in the 2013 Region 5 playoffs was simply stunning.


That team was also unbeaten through the regular season, captured the first three games of regionals and a spot in the finals, but lost a fourth game and then an early lead in the title game while dropping a nail-biter to Greater Pittston while finishing its sparkling season with two consecutive defeats.


The many players who came back to Swoyersville’s team appear determined to keep that horrid history from repeating.


Leadoff man Jeremy Sabecky went 4 for 5 and scored two runs Tuesday, while Jeremy Worlinsky remained scalding hot for Swoyersville with a double and two runs scored. Both also drove home a run apiece. Chris McCue scored two runs and knocked another one in, while Brendin Techmanski earned the victory by pitching to an 8-5 lead through 5 1/3 innings before Chris Labashosky finished up.


It didn’t even matter that somebody finally got Swoyersville’s smoking No. 3 hitter Ryan Hogan out.


He singled in the first inning to reach base for the 12th straight time in the regional tournament - a streak that started with a single in the last inning of Swoyersville’s opening game against Hughesville - but was retired on a fly to right during his second at-bat.


Hogan still finished with three hits, scored two runs and led Swoyersville with two RBI.


“There were only two games this year where I didn’t have multi-hit games,” Hogan, who is batting .647 (11 for 17) with nine runs and five RBI through the first four games of the tourney, said earlier this week. “It’s easy to stay relaxed when you’re playing with friends and winning games.”


One more of those wins today will send Swoyersville on to states. But it could be the team’s toughest one to get.


“We’ve been in this position before,” Toole said. “We understand it’s going to take a total team effort to get past a good Nanticoke baseball team. Regardless of whether we beat them 13-3, they’re going to give us their best effort.”


LINE MOUNTAIN`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR


Brady Michael 2b`3`2`1`0`0`0`0


Kellan Masser ss`5`1`1`0`0`0`0


Erik Smeltz rf,p`4`0`1`1`1`0`0


J.R. Lenker c`4`1`2`1`2`0`0


T.J. Harris 1b`4`0`1`0`0`0`0


Cory Paul cf`5`0`0`0`0`0`0


Zach Bobb p,rf`4`1`1`0`0`0`0


Wally Snyder 3b`5`0`0`0`0`0`0


Kurt Mace lf`4`0`2`0`0`0`0


Totals`38`5`9`2`3`0`0


SWOYERSVILLE`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR


Jeremy Sabecky cf`5`2`4`1`0`0`0


Chris Lupole ss`4`0`0`1`0`0`0


Ryan Hogan c`5`2`3`2`0`0`0


Mike Leonard 2b`3`2`0`1`0`0`0


Jeremy Worlinsky 3b`4`2`2`1`1`0`0


Matt Labashosky rf`3`0`0`1`0`0`0


Evan McCue 1b`4`2`1`1`0`0`0


Brendin Techmanski p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Keaton Dolan dh`3`1`0`0`0`0`0


Mark Popson rf`2`0`1`0`0`0`0


Mark Baron lf`2`1`0`1`0`0`0


Andrew Semanek ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Line Mountain`110`102`000` - 5


Swoyersville`206`004`00x` - 12


LINE MOUNTAIN`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Bobb, L`2.2`6`8`4`4`0


Smeltz`5.1`5`4`4`1`2


SWOYERSVILLE`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Techmanski, W`5.1`9`5`3`4`3


Labashosky, S`3.2`0`0`0`1`2


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