The Wyoming Valley Conference spent 3 1/3 innings June 2 searching for its first hit and first run in the inaugural Field of Dreams baseball game at PNC Field.
Greg Petorak of Dallas provided both, starting a comeback that allowed the WVC to force an extra inning before losing to the Lackawanna League, 8-6, in eight innings in the all-star game for high school seniors.
Petorak started at second base and batted fifth in the game. He walked in his first at-bat.
When Petorak came to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, the WVC was facing a 5-0 deficit and in danger of getting blown out of the game.
Petorak singled to center field, took second on a wild pitch, went to third on a groundout and scored on an error.
The WVC eventually used a five-run sixth inning, which included a hit and run by Tunkhannock’s Ty Weiss, to force a 6-6 tie.
“We had a high-energy dugout,” Petorak said. “The guys were into it.
“Everyone on this team is capable of contributing. We just all grinded it out. We scored a few runs and got back into the game.”
Petorak enjoyed the experience of playing at the home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in a Sunday afternoon game that drew a paid crowd of approximately 500. He said the setting and crowd “is something I’ve never experienced before, so it was nice.”
The all-star game appearance was a reward for a season in which Petorak batted .357 while scoring 19 runs and driving in 14 to help Dallas to within a game of first place in Division 2 of the Wyoming Valley Conference.
“I’m proud of my high school career and looking forward to the next level,” said Petorak, a Back Mountain American Legion player who plans to play at Ursinus College next season.
Brian Stepniak, who is set to play at Division I Hartford College, also represented Dallas in the game. Stepniak started at first base, but did not bat or pitch in the game because he was slowed by a minor injury.
During the season, Stepniak batted .340 with 19 RBI and was 6-2 with 58 strikeouts and a 2.52 earned run average as a pitcher.
Three players from Tunkhannock’s WVC Division 2 championship team were also part of the WVC roster.
In addition to Weiss, who pitched a hitless inning with one strikeout and was was 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored, Jeremy Lee started in right field and was 0-for-2 at the plate while Josh McClain went 0-for-1.
Scranton Prep’s Chris Gaetano was 2-for-3 with a triple, a stolen base and four runs scored to lead the Lackawanna League to its victory. He tripled and scored the winning run in the top of the eighth inning.