LEHMAN TWP. – Wyoming Area built a title repeat on small ball, team speed, pitching and defense.
With the title secured, the Warriors used their next outing to flex their muscles a bit.
Brandon Charney hit a two-run homer over the fence in left field, Marc Minichello launched a triple to the deepest part of the field in center and the Warriors used 11 hits to defeat host Lake-Lehman, 9-5, Wednesday.
The home run was the team’s first of the season and coach Ron Musto was well aware that it was uncommon for his team.
“It’s our first home run since 2007,” said Musto, who in his second year back as coach does not have records to actually know how long it’s been. “We’re looking for kids who are going to attack the baseball.”
In an un-Warriorlike performance, Wyoming Area did just that.
Instead of their usual method of building a few runs around bunts and stolen bases, they had four extra-base hits, all to deliver runs.
Tyler Dougherty and Cory Lescavage had RBI doubles in the top of the second inning for a 3-0 lead.
The score stayed right there until Charney’s homer in the fifth made it 5-0. Minichello’s triple built the lead to 8-2 and he immediately came home on Dougherty’s sacrifice fly to complete Wyoming Area’s scoring.
“We’re playing 14 kids because we have three or four kids who are stroking the ball consistently and eight or nine who have not been as consistent and have been unable to find that zone,” Musto said.Lescavage did not allow an earned run in five-plus innings while getting the win. He also had three hits, two runs and RBI.
Wyoming Area was off its normal game in ways that cannot be repeated with the playoffs coming.
They committed four errors – all in the infield and all in the fifth inning when the Black Knights scored their first two runs. Two Lake-Lehman batters who walked with Wyoming Area ahead by seven runs in the seventh inning came in to score.The District 2 Class AAA playoffs open Friday, but Wyoming Area will receive one of the two byes in the 14-team event and will not play until the May 24 quarterfinals.
Wyoming Area 4, Tunkhannock 0
Josh Kopcza threw a two-hit shutout Monday as Wyoming Area repeated its WVC Division 2 title by defeating Tunkhannock, 4-0.
Kopcza struck out eight and walked just one in the clincher.
Cory Lescavage had two hits and drove in a run in the win.
The Warriors scored two runs each in the third and fifth innings.
Tunkhannock 5, Wyoming Area 4
The teams picked up the contest tied, 4-4, after seven innings. The Tigers scored with one out in the bottom of the eight for a 5-4 victory.
Mike Bonita went 3-for-4 with two RBI to lead Wyoming Area.
Hazleton Area 4, Pittston Area 3
The Patriots opened a 3-0 lead after 2 ½ innings, but the Cougars began working their way back in the bottom of the fourth.
Kyle O’Fier went 2-for-2 and Joe Stella also had two hits for the Patriots. O’Fier scored once while Stella scored one run and drove in another.
Wyoming Valley West 9, Pittston Area 1
On the way to repeating its WVC Division 1 title, Wyoming Valley West rolled over Pittston Area, 9-1, Monday behind 10 strikeouts by Eric Raitter.
Kyle O’Fier doubled for Pittston Area’s only extra-base hit. The Patriots managed just three hits total.
Pittston Area goes into the final week with the small chance of moving into the top eight in District 2 Class AAA and securing a first-round home game. It is more likely to open the playoffs on the road Friday.