Last updated: July 16. 2013 1:30AM - 3329 Views
By - jerzar@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6394

Plains pitcher T. J. Wozniak delivers a pitch in the second inning Monday against Back Mountain American in Archbald.
Plains pitcher T. J. Wozniak delivers a pitch in the second inning Monday against Back Mountain American in Archbald.
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ARCHBALD — The offense came quickly Monday and then disappeared. Its cameo, though, was just enough for Back Mountain American to keep its title hopes alive.

American scored four times in the first and once again used its pitching committee to post a 5-3 victory over Plains in the elimination bracket final of the Section 5 Little League Major Baseball tournament at Archbald Little League.

District 31 champion American will be back at Archbald today and — if things go as the team hopes — again on Wednesday. American need to defeat unbeaten D17 champ North Pocono twice to secure the title. Game time is 6 p.m.

D16 champ Plains was eliminated with its second loss.

“That first inning, we didn’t get a couple breaks,” said Plains manager Kyle Costello, whose team scored once in the first but failed to score again with the bases loaded and one out. “You’re going to have that in baseball … life. Things are going to happen out of your control. But it’s how you bounced back and they did.

“We have a young team. We have seven 11-year-olds. I’m excited for next year already, but I told them to remember this feeling because when you show up at practice, you don’t want to have that feeling again.”

While Plains failed to capitalize in the top of the first, American did in the bottom of the inning.

American had five of its eight hits in the first, with Mark Roginski driving in two with a single, and Michael Anderson and Dalton Simpson each knocking in a run with a base hit. American increased its lead to 5-1 in the second when Ethan Zawatski hit his fifth home run of the tournament.

But from the third inning on, American had just one baserunner — Michael Doggett, who reached on a wild-pitch third strike in the sixth — as Plains starter T.J. Wozniak settled in on the mound.

Wozniak finished with eight strikeouts in throwing a complete game. American had struck out nine times in its previous two games combined.

“He’s tough. He’s as good as you’re going to see,” American manager Jeff Doggett said. “We’re just grateful to play another day of Little League, very grateful. Honestly, it’s not over. This was a big hurdle, but we’re not thinking about two games. Let’s go out and just try to win the first inning tomorrow. Maybe we can string a few together and see what can happen.”

Once again, Doggett continued to wear out the grass from the dugout to the pitcher’s mound with several pitching changes. American used six pitchers, with first reliever Michael Collins earning the victory with 1.2 innings of work. Zawatski pitched the sixth for the save.

“We’re probably not going to outpitch anybody,” Doggett said. “That’s not the nature of our team. Some teams can roll out guys who throw darts after darts. That’s not us. We have to get contributions from everybody.”

Plains cut the deficit to 5-3 in the third on a solo homer by Wozniak and an RBI single by Jamie Pahler. Other opportunities went unfulfilled as Plains stranded 10 runners, including five in scoring position.

“It just wasn’t our day,” Costello said. “The kids hit the ball, hit the ball hard. We just couldn’t get the ball to drop. It just wouldn’t fall for us today.”


Kyle Costello ss`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Tanner Smith 3b`4`0`0`1`0`0`0

T.J. Wonziak p`2`1`2`1`0`0`1

Carl Yastremski 2b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Gavin Baranski lf`1`0`1`0`0`0`0

Eddie Biniek ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Zachary Jarnot ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ben Yozwiak c`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Derek Wardle rf`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Ethan Cegelka ph`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jamie Pahler 1b`3`0`1`1`0`0`0

Jeff Mondulick cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Noah Stankinas ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Back Mtn. Amer.`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Michael Luksic rf`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Ethan Zawatski 3b`2`2`1`1`0`0`1

Michael Anderson cf`3`0`2`1`0`0`0

Michael Doggett c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dalton Simpson 1b`3`1`2`1`0`0`0

Michael Collins ss`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Mark Roginski lf`1`0`1`2`0`0`0

Mason Gattuso rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Derek Answini 2b`1`0`1`0`0`0`0

John Betzko lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Darren Kerdesky p`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Plains`102`000 — 3

Back Mtn. American`410`00x — 5


Wozniak (L)`6`8`5`4`0`8

Back Mtn. Amer.`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Collins (W)`1.2`2`1`1`0`3




Zawatski (S)`1.0`1`0`0`0`1

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