By Tom Robinson
For Sunday Dispatch
RICE TWP. – The East faced just one deficit in Thursday night’s Wyoming Valley Conference Coaches All-Star Baseball Game.
Michael Delaney, Pittston Area’s only representative in the game, helped make sure of that.
Delaney played a part in the five-run bottom of the first that sent the East on its way to a 7-2 victory over the South.
Hazleton Area’s David Klein led off the game with one single and Delaney followed with another to center field.
After three of the next four batters walked, Hazleton Area’s Chris Panzarella delivered a bases-loaded double to drive in the last three runs of the inning.
“We knew not to get our heads down,” Delaney said of the West’s two-run top of the first.
Delaney started and finished the game in center field. He batted second under game rules which saw all 17 West players and all 15 East players bat in one lineup rather than using a nine-man batting order and substitutions.
The recent Pittston Area graduate and Penn State/Wilkes-Barre recruit scored the tying run and finished 1-for-2.
“It was a real fun game and it was still competitive,” Delaney said.
Delaney is looking forward to being a college teammate of Wyoming Area’s Zach Lopatka.
Like Delaney, Lopatka and Wyoming Area teammates Joe Gavenonis, Jeremy Zezza and Even Musto all played in both Thursday’s game and the earlier Field of Dreams Game between the WVC and the Lackawanna League.
Gavenonis had the last West hit with a single to left to lead off the second.
Four East pitchers combined to retire 18 of 19 batters the rest of the way to make the big first inning stand up.
Gavenonis finished 1-for-2.
Zach Lopatka started in center field and was 0-for-2.
Zezza, who started in left field and later played right field, and Musto, who started at catcher, were each 0-for-1.
Ron Musto from Wyoming Area helped coach the West team.
Panzarella was the East team Most Valuable Player with a pair of doubles and four RBI. He also pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to complete the game.
A.J. Sweppenheiser from Dallas was the West MVP. He worked four innings, allowing only one run on three hits.
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