Last updated: July 15. 2014 11:06PM - 1487 Views
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Back Mountain American players celebrate a game-changing home run by Justin Finarelli in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday night.
Back Mountain American players celebrate a game-changing home run by Justin Finarelli in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday night.
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Note: Pennsylvania went from six sectional tournaments to eight in 2007. Prior to that, teams from the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton area were placed in either Section 3 or Section 4. Section 5 champions prior to 2007 were not from the local area.

2014`Back Mtn. American

2013`North Pocono

2012`Back Mtn. American

2011`Abington National


2009`Carbino Club

2008`Back Mtn. American

2007`North Pocono

NANTICOKE — No matter how silent Back Mountain American’s offense might be at a given time, it’s always lurking. Always ready to unleash a savage barrage that renders opposing pitchers helpless.

It took an extra inning Tuesday night, but Dunmore felt the wrath.

American scored seven times in the seventh inning, taking complete control and taking away a 13-7 victory to win the Section 5 Little League Major Baseball title.

The sectional title was American’s second in three years. It advances to the state tournament, playing the Section 4 champion at 4 p.m. Sunday at Lower Perkiomen Little League in Skippack.

American pounded out 17 hits in all, including two homers from Will McCrum and one each from Jack Lukasavage and Justin Finarelli.

Finarelli’s solo shot to center started the seventh-inning outburst. A series of singles followed before McCrum lined a three-run homer to center. His solo homer in the fifth was a titanic blast that went over the gigantic trees beyond the center field fence.

“That was fantastic,” American manager Joe Phillips said of McCrum’s solo shot. “That was extra perfect. To see that clear the top of those trees, that was a blast.”

McCrum’s three-run homer, though, essentially wrapped up the title for American as Dunmore barely made a dent into the seven-run deficit in its final trip to the plate.

Dunmore, the District 17 champion, battled through the elimination bracket after a tournament-opening loss. Among its wins was a 7-6 victory over Nanticoke that ended past 11:30 p.m. because of a two-hour rain delay.

Dunmore battled back again Tuesday, using consecutive homers from Frank Ruggiero and Steve Borgia to tie the score 6-6 in the fifth. The score stayed that way until the seventh.

“I’m really proud of the kids. They left it all on the field,” Dunmore manager Mark Finan said. “They worked extremely hard and fought to the very end. It’s unfortunate we came up just short.”

American has scored 10 or more runs in nine of its 11 tournament games, including its path to the District 31 title. The offense was handcuffed early as Dunmore starting pitcher Jayden Buckley mixed off-speed and breaking pitches.

“The kids made small adjustments,” Phillips said. “They realized they were out in front. They’re used to hitting faster pitching. We’ve practiced hitting curveballs, we’ve practiced hitting change-ups. So we were ready for this, but it’s still hard to hit it the first time you see it.”

The second time was different as Buckley hung a breaking ball in the third inning, and Lukasavage ripped it over the left field fence. Todd Phillips, Jake Connolly and McCrum followed with consecutive singles that produced three more runs and a 5-3 lead.

“You can’t keep a group like that down,” Finan said. “They are just so deep. There are a lot of kids that can hit for them for power.”



North Pocono 7, Back Mountain 3

Samantha Zaic pitched a two-hitter while fanning 15 and also had two hits to lead North Pocono. Savannah Slater had two hits including a triple with an RBI and scored twice.

Maura Berecin and Kaci Hockenberry both singled and scored for Back Mountain.



Wallenpaupack 10, Nanticoke 6

In a game played Monday, Wallenpaupack got two home runs from T.J. Schmalzle. Mabrat Levant chipped in with two hits, including a home run.

For Nanticoke, Owen Brown finished with two hits, Ethan Egenski recorded a double and Devyn Sura had a single and two runs scored.


Back Mtn. Amer. 13, Dunmore 7 (7 inn.)

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

Todd Phillips c`5`2`3`1`0`0`0

Jake Connolly 2b`4`2`2`1`0`0`0

Chris Langan ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Will McCrum ss`5`3`3`5`0`0`2

Justin Finarelli 1b`5`1`2`2`0`0`1

Frankie Nockley 3b`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Michael Starbuck 1b`4`0`3`0`0`0`0

Dylan Schuster lf`3`1`0`0`0`0`0

Lucas McGeehan p`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Matt Maransky rf`1`2`0`0`0`0`0

Brett Ostroski ph`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Jck Lukasavge cf`3`2`2`3`0`0`1

Sam Nocito ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0



Owen Haggerty 3b`3`0`0`1`0`0`0

Frank Ruggiero c`5`1`1`1`0`0`1

Steve Borgia 2b`4`1`2`2`0`0`1

Danny Walsh ss`2`1`0`0`0`0`0

Jayden Buckley p`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Ross Cordaro cf`3`2`2`1`0`0`0

Michael Hannah 1b`4`1`1`1`0`0`0

Tom Dougherty lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tommy Lewis lf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ian Cowder rf`1`0`1`1`0`0`0

Jake McNeff rf`2`0`1`0`0`0`0


Back Mtn. Amer.`005`010`7`-`13

Dunmore`030 030`1`—`7





Connolly (W)`0.2`0`1`0`1`1




Borgia (L)`2.2`9`6`6`1`0


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