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Last updated: June 24. 2014 11:27PM - 1653 Views
By - psokoloski@civitasmedia.com



Nanticoke pitcher Colby Butczynski struck out five batters through four innings to pick up the victory Tuesday as his team clinched a spot in the District 16 double-elimination bracket with a 10-4 victory over Mountain Top.
Nanticoke pitcher Colby Butczynski struck out five batters through four innings to pick up the victory Tuesday as his team clinched a spot in the District 16 double-elimination bracket with a 10-4 victory over Mountain Top.
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DORRANCE TWP. - Since he couldn’t quite knock the ball through the outfield fence, Dylan Szychowski figured he’d have better luck hitting the ball over the wall.


And when that worked, he helped put Nanticoke over the top in District 16 Little League Major Baseball pool play.


Szychowski launched two more long home runs Tuesday, Adam Eckhart also homered and Nanticoke powered its way past Mountain Top 10-4 and into the double-elimination bracket.


“We’re feeling good right now as a team,” Szychowski said.


The Nanticoke Little Leaguers should.


They improved to 3-0 in the district’s four-game pool play, and earned a guaranteed spot among the top teams from each of two District 16 pools when the tournament moves to a double-elimination format next week. All teams with 4-0 or 3-1 records will be included in that round of districts.


Mountain Top suffered its first loss while falling to 2-1 with one more game of pool play remaining Thursday, but not before putting a scare into mighty Nanticoke.


Mike Geroski and Garett Swank both delivered RBI singles as Mountain Top took a 2-0 lead in a sloppy top of the first inning for Nanticoke that included a couple of errors and a couple of walks.


“I was a little nervous,” Szychowski said. “But I knew we had the bats that could come back and hit the ball.”


And hit they did.


Nanticoke’s leadoff batter Eckhart hit the first pitch he saw over the wall, and suddenly everything seemed normal again for a Nanticoke team that rolled through the first two games of pool play - including a 17-1 victory over North Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.


“I thought the turning point in the game was when Adam hit that home run to lead off the inning,” Szychowski said. “After that, it was a big change in momentum.”


A little later, Szychowski nearly changed the scenery in the Mountain Top Little League outfield.


He rocketed a low laser that threatened to tear through the right-center field wall, but got stuck in the fence for a double. Szychowski then raced home with the tying run on Austin Norton’s bouncer up the middle, and Colin Brown later added another RBI single for a 3-2 Nanticoke lead.


“I had to turn to my coach,” Nanticoke manager Pat Heffron said of Szychowski’s shot. “I said, ‘Did that ball really stick in the fence in the air?’ I’ve never seen that. That’s impressive. That tells you how hard he’s hitting the ball.”


For those who weren’t sure, Szychowski unloaded two more bombs that continued his splendid all-star story.


He ripped a solo home run to dead center field leading off the third inning, triggering a four-run outburst that boosted Nanticoke’s lead to 7-2. And to start the fourth, Szychowski unloaded a blast that cleared the wall, the grass behind it, a dirt road and finally fell at the base of the trees some 270 feet away in left-center field.


“I talked to him between innings, we both came to the same conclusion,” Heffron said. “He’s really seeing the ball right now. He’s not a fun kid to throw batting practice to. We always have the screen up - for our survival. With his size and power, it’s just enjoyable to have him at the plate.”


That gave Szychowski - who ripped a grand slam and a solo homer Sunday - four home runs in two games during a tear unlike any he’s seen before.


“Not like that, not four homers in two games,” said Szychowski, who finished 4 for 4 at the plate with three runs scored and two RBI and who hasn’t been retired in his last seven trips to the plate. “But last year in all-stars, I was hitting the ball pretty good, too.”


He has a lot of company in the Nanticoke lineup these days.


Cleanup hitter Norton laced an opposite-field triple into the right field corner, finished 2 for 2 and scored three runs, while Brown had two hits, including a double, and drove home two runs.


That helped Nanticoke overcome a home run by Mountain Top’s Ryan Williams and double by Stew Caladie that turned into the team’s final run.


But even with a spot in the double-elimination bracket already clinched, Nanticoke isn’t about to relax.


“We look at the next game,” Heffron said, “the same way.”


***


Mountain Top`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR


Justin Sterling cf`3`1`0`0`0`0`0


Brad Papora p,ss`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Keefer Hoover 1b,p`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Mike Geroski ss,p`3`0`1`1`0`0`0


Stew Caladie c,2b`2`1`2`0`1`0`0


Derrell Petrochko 3b,p`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Brndn Weglcsznr ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Garett Swank lf`3`0`1`2`0`0`0


Connr Olnginski 2b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Ryan Williams 2b`2`1`1`1`0`0`1


Evan Priest rf,p`1`0`1`0`0`0`0


Bruce Leathrmn ph`1`1`0`0`0`0`0


Bryce Gavin ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Totals`26`4`6`4`1`0`1


Nanticoke`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR


Adam Eckhart rf`3`1`2`1`0`0`1


Jake Krupinski c`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Dylan Szychwski cf`4`3`4`2`1`0`2


Austin Norton lf`2`3`2`1`0`1`0


Devland Heffron 1b`3`1`0`1`0`0`0


Colin Brown 2b`2`0`2`2`1`0`0


Jayden Heald ss`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Luke Myers ph`1`1`0`0`0`0`0


Colby Butczynski p,1b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Jared Balliet ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Jermy Grudzicki ph`1`1`1`0`0`0`0


Chris Ormes 3b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Jard Piontkwski 1b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Totals`27`10`11`8`2`1`3


Mountain Top`200`110` - 4


Nanticoke`304`21x` - 10


Mountain Top`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Papora, L`2`5`3`3`1`3


Geroski`0`3`4`3`0`0


Hoover`1.2`1`2`1`1`4


Priest`1`2`1`1`2`2


Petrochko`.1`0`0`0`0`1


Nanticoke`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Butczynski, W`4`5`3`1`3`5


Heffron`2`1`1`1`0`0


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