Last updated: May 05. 2014 11:51PM - 2663 Views
By - dlevarse@civitasmedia.com

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TUNKHANNOCK — With the bases loaded against him in the fifth, Zach Lopatka calmly delivered.

The Wyoming Area senior reached back and struck out Tunkhannock’s cleanup hitter with two outs, and walked back to the dugout without any theatrics.

A big moment in an otherwise comfortable 8-2 Warriors win Monday, one that pushed them a bit closer to a WVC Division 2 title.

“Things don’t bother Zach,” Wyoming Area coach Dean Carey said with a smile. “I like that. He doesn’t show too much emotion either way. … Cool, calm and collected.

“Good pitching is what you need down the stretch. This was a big win for us today.”

With the season sweep of the Tigers, Wyoming Area (6-6 WVC) moved two up in the win column over second-place Dallas (4-6). The two teams are scheduled to play Wednesday.

The Warriors have had to break in a host of new starters this season after reaching the district semifinals in 2013. On Monday, it was two veterans who led the way.

Lopatka and junior Joe Gavenonis both had strong performances in the victory. The lefty Lopatka went the distance on the mound and struck out five for the win, including that clutch K to end the fifth. At the plate, he doubled and drove in three runs.

Gavenonis reached base in all four plate appearances, drawing three walks and adding an RBI single.

“They played on a senior-laden team last year, and we try to lean on those two,” Carey said. “We count on them, and they stepped up today.”

Jeremy Zezza’s run-scoring double in the top of the first gave the Warriors a quick 3-0 lead that Lopatka made stand up the rest of the way.

But it was the fourth inning that put the game out of reach as the Warriors pushed four across. Three consecutive bunts to lead off the frame had the Tigers (4-8) scrambling before Gavenonis knocked in a run.

Lopatka then delivered his big double to bring home two more before Tyler Mitchell made it 7-1 with a sacrifice fly, robbed of extra bases thanks to a terrific over-the-shoulder catch by Hunter Hopkins in right.

Hopkins was one of two freshmen who started in the field for the Tigers, along with first baseman Connor Hulslander. In all, the Tigers played three freshmen and six sophomores at some point during Monday’s game.

“They’ve grown mentally and they’ve grown fundamentally,” Tunkhannock coach Gary Custer said of his young roster. “They’re going to be stronger. They’re going to throw the ball harder. They’re going to swing the bat faster. All of that is still to come, so I’m optimistic.”

It was one of the seniors, Sean Soltysiak, who continued to pace the team at the plate. The impressive shortstop blasted his league-leading fourth home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth and finished 2-for-2 with a walk.

Sophomores Cody Brown (2-for-3, double) and Austin Burke (single, RBI) also chipped in.

“You know when you come up here, you’re always gonna get a game,” Carey said. “So to come out with a win, we’re fortunate. That’s a tough team to beat, and a class team, too.

“I was proud of our guys. They came out to play today.”

Wyoming Valley West 4, Hazleton Area 3

The Spartans (7-4) thwarted a late rally by the host Cougars to earn their seventh straight league win. Bill Gregory threw a complete game, striking out seven while Ryan Hogan added two hits at the plate.

Dante Biasi drove in a pair for Hazleton Area (8-2). Dave Klein went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Berwick 7, Crestwood 6

The visiting Bulldogs (9-3) managed just two hits but drew 12 walks to edge Crestwood. Jorden Stout’s sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh brought home what proved to be the winning run.

Derek Distastio (2-4), Curt Yenchik (2-3) and Ethan Markowski all had a double and an RBI for the Comets (5-6).

MMI Prep 4, Northwest 1

Kisan Patel struck out five in five innings to earn the win in his first varsity start in a WVC game. Cory Rogers doubled and knock in a run for the Preppers (3-6).

Eric Evans had two hits to lead the Rangers (5-5).


Wyoming Area 8, Tunkhannock 2

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

Corey Lescavage ss`2`2`1`0`0`0`0

Colin Herron ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tino Romanelli rf`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Josh Kopcza ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tyler Dougherty 2b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Joe Gavenonis dh`1`1`1`1`0`0`0

D. Forlenza pr`0`1`0`0`0`0`0

Zach Lopatka p`3`2`1`3`1`0`0

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

Tyler Mitchell 1b`3`0`1`1`0`0`0

Evan Musto c`4`0`2`0`0`0`0

Kyle Charney lf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Fred Cefalo ph`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Bryant Clark cf`2`1`2`0`0`0`0

Lucas Jurchak ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0



Brett Soltysiak 2b`4`0`2`0`0`0`0

Ryan Weiss p-1b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Sean Soltysiak ss`2`1`2`1`0`0`1

Hunter Hopkins rf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ben Swilley dh`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Cody Brown 3b-p`3`1`2`0`1`0`0

Austin Burke cf`3`0`1`1`0`0`0

C. Hulslander 1b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Connor Knott p`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dan Kosty 3b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Lane Ceccarelli c`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jack Fenwick c`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Bobby Gilpin lf`3`0`1`0`0`0`0


Wyoming Area`300`401`0`—`8


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

Lopatka (W, 3-1)`7.0`8`2`1`3`5


Weiss (L, 2-3)`3.1`9`7`4`2`1



Wyoming Valley West 4, Hazleton Area 3

Valley West`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Mark Popson cf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jeremy Sabecky dh`1`1`1`0`0`0`0

Chris Lupole 2b`4`0`1`1`0`0`0

Brandon Reyes c`4`1`0`0`0`0`0

Evan McCue 1b`1`1`0`0`0`0`0

Ryan Hogan rf`4`1`2`1`0`0`0

L. Anderscavage ss`4`0`1`1`0`0`0

Bill Gregory p`3`0`1`1`0`0`0

Mark Baran lf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Logan Zavada 3b`2`0`1`0`1`0`0


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

Dave Klein rf-cf`3`1`2`1`0`0`0

Joe Baran cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jeremy Budgeon rf`2`0`1`0`1`0`0

Dante Biasi lf`4`0`1`2`0`0`0

Robbie John c`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Sal Biasi 2b`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Ryan Heller p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Chris Panzarella ss`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tony Hernandez p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Seth Porpiglia 2b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kyle Rogers dh`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Thomas Sharp 1b`3`0`2`0`0`0`0

Christian Brea pr`0`1`0`0`0`0`0

Mitch O’Donnell 3b`3`0`1`0`0`0`0


Valley West`400`000`0`—`4

Hazleton Area`000`010`2`—`3

Valley West`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Gregory (W, 2-1)`7.0`8`3`3`2`7

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

Hernandez (L, 2-1)`6.0`7`4`3`6`4

S. Biasi`0.1`0`0`0`0`0


Berwick 7, Crestwood 6


Jake Jones lf`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Alex Klinger p-cf`2`2`0`0`0`0`0

Anthony Melito ss`2`1`0`0`0`0`0

Jorden Stout c`3`0`0`2`0`0`0

Zach Andress rf`2`2`0`0`0`0`0

Max Melito cf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Logan Woodard p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ethan Spence lf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

P.J. Wiegand dh`2`1`0`0`0`0`0

Cody Talanca 1b`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

A. Trivelpiece pr`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Zach Kyttle 2b`2`0`0`1`0`0`0

Chris Erickson ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Hunter Stout 3b`2`0`1`2`0`0`0



Derek Distasio 3b`3`1`2`1`0`0`0

Anthony Caladie ss`4`1`2`1`1`0`0

Brian Markowski rf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Curt Yenchik c`3`1`2`1`1`0`0

Ethan Markowski lf`4`0`1`1`1`0`0

Freddy Reyes pr`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jon Wychock 1b`4`1`2`0`0`0`0

Joel Sledziewski pr`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Brett Chupka p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Matt Mickowski p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Joe Grzech p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Gavin Morgans p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Chase Jones dh`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Josh Grzech dh`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Matt Darden 3b`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Tyler Jones cf`2`0`0`1`0`0`0





Klinger (W, 2-0)`4+`5`2`2`4`6


Jones (S)`1.0`1`0`0`0`2


Chupka (L, 3-1)`2+`1`3`1`5`1


Joe Grzech`1.0`1`1`1`2`1


MMI Prep 4, Northwest 1


David Samulevich c`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Sam Shaffer c`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Zac White ss`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Eric Gurzynski 2b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Nick Long cf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tyler Harrison 1b`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Derrick Price p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Scott Ungvarsky p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Doug Campbell dh`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Brandon Reno 3b`1`0`0`1`0`0`0

Eric Evans 3b`2`0`2`0`0`0`0

Reese Godfrey lf`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Andrew Boberick rf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Gray Godfrey rf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0



Jared Dasher cf`3`1`1`1`0`0`0

Cory Rogers ss`3`1`1`1`1`0`0

Charlie Karchner lf`3`0`2`0`0`0`0

Alec Andes 1b`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Sam Harman c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ed Herbener rf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kisan Patel p`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Nick Young rf`2`1`1`0`0`0`0

R.J. Kupsho 3b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0



MMI Prep`121`000`x`—`4


Price (L, 1-2)`4.0`4`4`1`1`3



Patel (W, 1-0)`5.0`3`1`1`1`5

Herbener (S)`2.0`2`0`0`0`2

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