Pittston Area strong in D2-3A baseball win over Lehman


By Tom Robinson - For the Times Leader



Lake-Lehman’s Tommy Williams makes a diving grab against Pittston Area in Friday’s PIAA District 2 Class 3A high school baseball playoff game in Hughestown.


Pittston Area’s Kevin Krawczyk makes a play against Lake-Lehman in Friday’s PIAA District 2 Class 3A high school baseball playoff game in Hughestown.


HUGHESTOWN – Pittston Area hosted the first of 37 playoff games on the District 2 schedule between Friday afternoon and the Memorial Day quadruple-header at PNC Field that will determine four baseball titles.

The Patriots showed they were ready for the start of the postseason.

Winning pitcher Tyler Jackson and Joe DeLucca each had two-run singles and also contributed when Lake-Lehman was at the plate while leading Pittston Area to a 6-1 victory in the Class 3A first round.

After finishing the regular season on an up note, the Patriots put together one of their best efforts to begin the playoffs and earn a shot at top-seeded Valley View, the Lackawanna League Division 1 champion, Tuesday.

“It’s the first time all year that we played the way a champion would play,” Pittston Area coach Paul Zaffuto said after his team won for the fourth time in six games since a 2-6 start. “Now, do we have the horses to make a run? You never know.

“But if you’re playing the way we did (Friday), we have a shot at anyone and that’s all you can ask for.”

Jackson threw a complete game, striking out six while allowing seven hits and a walk.

“He pounds the strike zone,” Zaffuto said. “Our objective is, we have good defense; we want him to throw strikes and get ahead.”

DeLucca made the game’s top two defensive plays in center field, following up a charging/diving catch with a sliding grab while moving to the right-center gap to end the game.

“Earlier in the season, some of those balls would have definitely dropped because we wouldn’t have taken a shot at them,” Zaffuto said after his team made just one harmless error while making several tough place. “We would come hard at it, but then we’d lay up. The last couple of weeks at practice, we were saying, ‘You have to take the shot. You have to understand the situation.’

“ … We’ve got to play aggressively. We can’t play passively.”

That is what Zaffuto said he saw in the Wyoming Valley Conference finale against Crestwood and again against Lake-Lehman.

Jackson stranded two Lake-Lehman runners each in the first, second and fourth innings. Four of those six runners were in scoring position, including runners on second and third in a fourth inning that ended on consecutive strikeouts.

“My curveball was my go-to pitch (Friday),” Zaffuto said. “But you can’t do anything without the fielding behind you.”

Some clutch hitting helps, too.

Jackson had a two-run single, following Kyle Turonis and Kevin Krawczyk for the third straight two-out hit in the second inning.

C.J. Pisack singled in a run in the fourth inning, then scored along with Krawczyk on DeLucca’s two-out hit.

Lake-Lehman cut the deficit to 5-1 in the fifth when Tyler Kolb doubled and scored on Hunter Nice’s second hit.

Pittston Area got the run back in the bottom half of the inning. Kyle O’Fier tripled and scored on a Joe Stella

DeLucca, Pisack, Krawczyk and Jackson each had two of the team’s 13 hits. Pisack had a double.

Pittston Area 6, Lake-Lehman 1

Lehman`AB`R`H`BI

Gorski cf`3`0`1`0

Kolb ss-p`4`1`1`0

Brucher 1b`4`0`0`0

Nice 2b`3`0`2`1

Sikora c`3`0`1`0

Handsall lf`3`0`0`0

Williams p-ss`3`0`1`0

Tomalonis rf`3`0`1`0

Weston 3b`3`0`0`0

Totals`29`1`7`1

Pittston Area`AB`R`H`BI

DeLucca cf`4`0`2`2

Spurlin c`3`0`1`0

O’Fier 2b`4`1`1`0

Stella 3b`2`1`1`1

Malampy pr`0`0`0`0

McAndrew lf`3`0`1`0

Pisack 1b`3`1`2`1

Turonis dh`2`1`1`0

Krawczyk ss 3`2`2`0

Jackson p`3`0`2`2

Adkins rf`0`0`0`0

Totals`27`6`13`6

Lake-Lehman`000`010`—`1

Pittston Area`020`310`x`—`6

2B — Klob, Pisack. 3B – O’Fier.

Lehman`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Williams (L)`3.2`9`5`5`1`0

Kolb`2.1`4`1`1`1`2

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

Jackson (W)`7.0`7`1`1`1`6

Lake-Lehman’s Tommy Williams makes a diving grab against Pittston Area in Friday’s PIAA District 2 Class 3A high school baseball playoff game in Hughestown.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_LLBaseball2.jpgLake-Lehman’s Tommy Williams makes a diving grab against Pittston Area in Friday’s PIAA District 2 Class 3A high school baseball playoff game in Hughestown.

Pittston Area’s Kevin Krawczyk makes a play against Lake-Lehman in Friday’s PIAA District 2 Class 3A high school baseball playoff game in Hughestown.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_PABaseball2.jpgPittston Area’s Kevin Krawczyk makes a play against Lake-Lehman in Friday’s PIAA District 2 Class 3A high school baseball playoff game in Hughestown.

By Tom Robinson

For the Times Leader

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