Last updated: May 22. 2013 12:35AM - 2938 Views
By - dlevarse@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6396

BILL TARUTIS/FOR THE TIMES LEADERPittston Area's Jordan Houseman, left, and Nicholas Bolka go to body bump during a pitching change after tying the game with Crestwood in a District 2 Class 3A quarterfinal game in Hughestown on Tuesday afternoon.
BILL TARUTIS/FOR THE TIMES LEADERPittston Area's Jordan Houseman, left, and Nicholas Bolka go to body bump during a pitching change after tying the game with Crestwood in a District 2 Class 3A quarterfinal game in Hughestown on Tuesday afternoon.
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HUGHESTOWN — A rocky regular season had ended on a high note. Pittston Area knocked off rival Coughlin last week to pick up its fourth league win and avoid a last-place finish in the district standings.

“I said after that game that we gotta win two in a row,” Patriots coach Paul Zaffuto said. “We hadn’t won two in a row all year.”

After Tuesday’s 11-10 nailbiter against Crestwood, his players were quick to remind him that the win streak has now reached three. And the 12th-seeded Patriots are suddenly one win away from the district title game.

Pittston Area beat No. 5 Dallas on Friday and rallied for eight runs in the fifth inning on Tuesday to squeak past No. 13 Crestwood in the District 2 Class 3A quarterfinals.

Josh Razvillas homered and finished 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead the way as the Patriots (6-11) took advantage of an error-plagued fifth by the Comets to erase a five-run deficit.

“They played well today and they had a big inning. Our kids were right there with them,” Crestwood coach Mark Modrovsky said.

Even after Pittston Area had grabbed an 11-8 lead, the Comets got two back in the sixth. In the seventh, Drew Munisteri tripled to the fence before Patriots reliever Justin Glasgow nailed down the save, stranding the tying run at third.

With his team down to its last out, Modrovsky said he considered waving around Munisteri for a chance at the tying run.

“Sure,” Modrovsky said. “Absolutely it goes through my head.”

Brian Markowski, who had already racked up a triple, a home run and three RBI, was on deck at the time.

“I don’t know how he didn’t send him. I would’ve sent him 100 percent,” Zaffuto said. “But he knows his team better than I do. If that’s me, I put the pressure on the defense. But thank God he didn’t.”

Pittston Area was on the other side of that decision in last year’s quarterfinals as Berwick gunned down the tying run at the plate in the seventh to beat the Patriots.

This time around, they’ll get to advance and travel to top-seeded Valley View for Thursday’s semifinals.

Getting to that point was anything but easy.

The Comets (5-12), who had lost both regular season meetings to Pittston Area, wasted no time blasting the Patriots for four runs in the top of the first.

“Crestwood is a different team than what we played the last two games,” Zaffuto said. “They came out and they pounded it. They did a lot of good things.”

Even when the Patriots chipped away to make it 4-3 headed into the fifth, Crestwood fired right back with four more runs for an 8-3 advantage.

Then came the bottom of the fifth. One mistake by the Comets snowballed into two. Then three. Then four.

The string of errors gave Pittston Area three runs. After a pitching change, Pat McGinty, Razvillas, Matt Mott and Jordan Houseman each came through with a run-scoring hit to put the Patriots on top for good.

Mott, exclusively a pitcher in the regular season, stayed in for his first plate appearance of the year. He delivered an RBI single to give the Patriots their first lead of the game at 9-8. It also gave Mott, who had come on in relief, the win on the mound.

“He took batting practice every day and I told him it was going to come back to us sometime or another,” Zaffuto said with a laugh. “He was kind of looking at me like, ‘Are you going to take me out?’ And I said, ‘No, buddy! Go ahead. You were smashing it in practice. It’s your time. Go ahead.’

“And he came though with a big one for us.”

Houseman (3-4, two RBI) followed that up by driving in a pair with a double for what proved to be the game-winning hit.

By the time the inning was over, Pittston Area had sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs on five hits and four errors.

For a change, the Patriots were on the other side of such a tough frame. Pittston Area had struggled defensively in the regular season, allowing a total of 39 unearned runs in 15 games.

“They fell apart like we usually did,” Zaffuto said. “That’s a reflection of something we did throughout the season. They helped us out a little bit, but we were able to capitalize on it.”

District 2 Class 3A quarterfinals


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Elliot Snyder ss`3`0`0`1`0`0`0


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Michael Delaney cf`4`2`2`1`0`0`0

Pat McGinty ss`4`1`2`1`0`0`0



Pittston Area`001`280`x`—`11



B. Markowski (L, 1-1)`0.0`4`3`0`0`0



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


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