GP sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs in the third inning.

Last updated: July 17. 2013 10:12PM - 3737 Views

Greater Pittston pitcher Joe Gavenonis delivers a pitch to Nanticoke batter Joe Yudichak in the Wyoming Valley American Legion baseball championship game in Rice Township on Wednesday evening.
Greater Pittston pitcher Joe Gavenonis delivers a pitch to Nanticoke batter Joe Yudichak in the Wyoming Valley American Legion baseball championship game in Rice Township on Wednesday evening.
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RICE TWP. – Coming off a loss from the day before and getting down again after two batters into Wednesday’s Wyoming Valley American Legion championship game, it would’ve been real easy for Greater Pittston to fold.

That did not happen though.

The team erased the deficit in the bottom of the second then put the game away in the bottom of the third sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs en route to a 8-3 win over Nanticoke at Mountain Post’s Veterans Field.

“We just wanted to keep it close, work the count and eventually we would have the big inning and we did,” Greater Pittston coach Jerry Ranieli said.

With the win, Greater Pittston is the second seed from the Wyoming Valley for this weekend’s Region 5 Tournament to be held at Hanover Area High School and Spartan Stadium. GP will play Susquehanna Valley champ Berwick Saturday afternoon at 4:30 at Hanover Area. The team joins WVAL champ Swoyersville in the tournament. Swoyersville will play its opener Saturday at 1 p.m. at Spartan Stadium against West Branch champion Milton.

Nanticoke jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after Zack Kollar tripled to lead off the game then scored when the next batter Christian Pack ( 2 for 2) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field.

Joe Gavenonis, who was on the mound for Greater Pittston, settled down setting down the next seven batters and gave up just one single leaving the infield the next four innings.

“The first inning I was iffy about how we were going to do because giving up a hit and run like that in the first inning got me a little rattled,”said Gavenonis, who twirled a complete-game, seven-hitter, didn’t allow any walks and kept Nanticoke hitters off balance with his slider and fastball to earn the win.

Once Greater Pittston went crazy in the third lacing seven hits and scoring the seven-spot for a seven-run cushion, Gavenonis was on cruise control only giving up an infield single in the next two innings.

“After we got the eight runs I wasn’t worried about anything. I just went out there and threw whatever I wanted. It was a good game,” the soon-to-be Wyoming Area junior Gavenonis said.

In GP’s big inning, the biggest hit was a two-run bloop single by Eric Walkowiak (2 for 4). In fact, three of the team’s hits in the frame were softly hit balls that dropped in between fielders, including run-scoring singles by Dylan Maloney (2 for 3, 2 runs) and Justin Martinelli (3 for 4). Jordan Zezza (2 for 5) and Jake Granteed (2 for 3) also had a RBI singles and another run scored on an error.

“The baseball gods were with us today,” Ranieli added. “That’s baseball. Sometimes you hit it as hard as you can, you get out. Sometimes you hit little bloopers and they find holes. So that’s what happened.”

Nanticoke started a comeback effort in the sixth inning plating two runs; one scoring on an error and the other on a single by pinch-hitter Kevin Volkel to trim the lead to 8-3. The seventh inning started with a leadoff single too. But that runner was erased on a doubleplay.

Greater Pittston 8, Nanticoke 3


Zach Kollar ss`4`1`1`0`0`1`0

Christian Pack 2b`2`1`2`1`0`0`0

Mickey Ferrence p/rf`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Nick Deno rf/p/3b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mike Bugonowicz 1b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

John Wickiser cf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jack Windt dh`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Kevin Volkel ph`1`0`1`1`0`0`0

Morgan Higgs 3b/p`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Joe Yudichak c`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Bob Briggs lf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


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

Jordan Zezza lf/rf`5`1`2`1`0`0`0

Mike Carey 2b`2`1`1`0`0`0`0

Jake Granteed 3b`3`0`2`1`0`0`0

Joe Gavenonis rf`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Dylan Maloney 1b`3`2`2`1`0`0`0

Trent Grove c`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Justin Martinelli ss`4`1`3`1`0`1`0

Matt Mott rf/lf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Marty Cirelli dh`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Chuck Bressler dh`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Eric Walkowiak cf`4`1`2`2`0`0`0


Nanticoke`100`002`0`- 3

Greater Pittston`017`000`x`- 8


Ferrence (L)`2.2`8`7`4`1`3



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

Gavenonis (W)`7`7`3`2`0`3

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