Last updated: June 01. 2014 11:37PM - 2231 Views
By Tom Fox For The Times Leader

Wyoming Valley Conference second baseman Anthony Caladie fields a ground ball during the Field of Dreams Game at PNC Field on Sunday.
Wyoming Valley Conference second baseman Anthony Caladie fields a ground ball during the Field of Dreams Game at PNC Field on Sunday.
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MOOSIC – The order was set before first pitch.

Matt Skrepnak told each one of his Wyoming Valley Conference pitchers in the pregame huddle which inning they would run to the mound.

Then, he came to Pittston Area’s Michael Schwab. He was designated as team closer.

“Coach was busting me, telling me that it would be a barn-burner in the end, and it was going to be up to me,” Schwab said. “I appreciate him putting me in that spot, giving me an opportunity to shut the door.”

Turns out, the Wyoming Valley Conference didn’t need any late-inning heroics.

Matt DeMarco’s two-run triple in the second put the WVC in front for good, Schwab added an insurance two-run single in the fifth and seven pitchers combined on a five-hitter with seven strikeouts en route to a 7-3 victory over the Lackawanna League in the annual Field of Dreams Game at PNC Field.

“When you look at the conference, there was some good talent up and down,” said Coughlin’s Dave Marriggi, who punched out two hitters in the third inning. “Today, you knew that we had a number of guys that could come in and get outs. I just went at them, and challenged them with my fastball. I got hit, but my defense was behind me. They have a talented team, so it was nice to get a win on this field.”

The pitching depth was evident.

Skrepnak had his choice of nine pitchers he could have chosen from, and expressed his confidence in each one of them.

Now, just imagine if he had his full squad.

Three players — Hazleton Area’s Tony Hernandez and Sal Biasi and MMI Prep’s Charlie Karchner – were also selected to the team but didn’t play because their respective high schools have state playoff games upcoming. No doubt, those three probably would have earned a nod in one of the innings.

The fact the Meyers head coach had that much flexibility shows the depth of pitching this year in the conference.

“It makes my job easier when you have talent like that,” Skrepnak said. “You have 20 of the best players in our conference minus those teams still competing for a state title. It’s like game management because these kids are that good. You put them on the field and let them do their thing. We had nine quality pitchers, but we chose just the seven. We had four lefties and three righties, so we went lefty, righty and finished on the left side. We threw strikes.”

Lackawanna pushed an unearned run across the board in the first inning, but struggled to find that big hit.

GAR’s Kevin Evans worked out of a jam in the sixth, leaving runners stranded on first and second. And Schwab escaped the seventh without any major damage after a two-out error, a walk to Del Valley’s Jonathan Portugal and infield single by Elk Lake’s Nick Dudock loaded the bases.

The Patriot settled down, coaxing a sharp grounder to third for the final out.

The Lackawanna League left a total of nine runners stranded on the base paths.

“I think all of our pitchers threw strikes, and that was the big thing. We moved the pitches up and down, and the fielders did a nice job of playing their positions,” Schwab said.

The Wyoming Valley Conference had no problems finding the big hit.

An infield single by Dallas’ Nigel Stearns and a one-out walk to Redeemer’s Eric Kerr set the stage in the second for DeMarco, who drilled a two-run triple to the gap in left-center field. DeMarco later scored on an error by the third baseman as the WVC built a 3-1 lead after two.

The doors were kicked open in the fifth. With LL pitcher Colby Thomas struggling with his control, Evan McCue’s run-scoring single pushed the lead to 4-1 and Schwab’s big hit to right plated two more for a commanding, 6-1 lead.

The WVC added another in the four-run fifth on Josh Razvillas’ sacrifice fly.

Northwest’s Eric Gurzynski pitched a three-up, three-down second inning to earn the victory.

“This was an awesome experience,” he said. “I felt pretty laid back coming into this one. There is no pressure to win or lose. You just pitch. We kept them off-balance the entire game.”


Wyoming Valley Conference 7, Lackawanna League 3

Lackawanna League `AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Dave Lopatka 2B `1`1`0`0`0`0`0

Jonathan Portugal 2B `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Matt Rivera SS `2`0`1`1`0`0`0

Nick Dudock SS `1`1`1`0`0`0`0

Matt Heller DH `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Nick Ivanoff 1B `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Randy Darrow LF `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jonathan Zeder LF `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Colin Ferguson 3B-P `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kevin Miller 3B `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Rob Nardelli C `2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Nick Preston C `1`0`1`1`0`0`0

Corey Rinaldi 1B `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dalton Rissinger 1B `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Josh Sawka RF `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Alex Demian RF `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Joe Addvensky CF `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kevin Bannon LF `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Josh Zilla P `2`1`1`0`0`1`0

Kraigen Rasalla P `0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Colby Thomas P-3B `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Totals `29`3`5`2`0`1`0

Wyoming Valley Conference `AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Anthony Melitto SS `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Anthony Caladie SS `1`1`0`0`0`0`0

Domenic Oliveri DH-RF `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jeremy Sabecky DH `0`1`0`0`0`0`0

Kyle Lupas 1B `2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Evan McCue 1B `1`1`1`1`0`0`0

Jordan Stout C `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mike Sulcoski C `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Nigel Stearns P-LF `2`1`1`0`0`0`0

Scott Bean P-LF-3B `0`1`0`0`0`0`0

Dave Marriggi CF-P `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Michael Schwab CF-P `1`0`1`2`0`0`0

Eric Kerr RF `1`1`0`0`0`0`0

Josh Razvillas RF-CF `0`0`0`1`0`0`0

Eric Gurzynski LF-P `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Brian Markowski LF-P `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Matt DeMarco 2B `1`1`1`2`0`1`0

Tyler Meyers 2B `2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Sean Soltysiak 3B `1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kevin Evans 3B-P `2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Totals `25`7`6`6`0`1`0

Lackawanna League `101 `001 `0 – 3

Wyoming Valley Conference `030 `040 `x – 7

Lackawanna League `IP `H`R`ER`BB`SO

Josh Zilla (L) `2`3`3`2`1`2

Kraigen Rasalla `2`1`0`0`1`1

Colby Thomas `0.1`1`4`4`1`0

Colin Ferguson `1.2`1`0`0`0`1

Wyoming Valley Conference `IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Nigel Stearns `1`0`1`0`2`2

Eric Gurzynski (W) `1`0`0`0`0`1

Dave Marriggi `1`2`1`1`0`2

Scott Bean `1`1`0`0`0`0

Brian Markowski `1`0`0`0`0`0

Kevin Evans `1`1`1`1`1`1

Michael Schwab `1`1`0`0`1`1

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