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Plymouth goes small for title

Bunts, steals and singles key in Plymouth’s 3-2 win over Mountain Post.

Plymouth’s Andrew Tressa beats the throw to Mountain Post first baseman Matt Lamore in the second inning.

FRED ADAMS/THE TIMES LEADER

Mountain Post’s Josh Hammerstone tags out Andrew Tressa of Plymouth in the second inning.

FRED ADAMS/THE TIMES LEADER

WRIGHT TWP. – All season, Plymouth-Grontkowski was hitting the tar out of the ball and outscoring opponents by an average of nine runs a game.

On Tuesday, however, in the Wyoming Valley American Legion League championship game against Mountain Post, the team needed small ball to take home its second straight league championship with a 3-2 win.

With Mountain Post pitcher Kyle Belanchik on the verge of working out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the sixth inning in 2-2 tie, Plymouth hitter Chris Pollick tried a suicide squeeze.

Fortunately for Plymouth, Pollick didn’t get the bunt down. Instead, the Wyoming Valley West senior hit a 3-2 fastball up the middle for a run-scoring infield single.

“The squeeze, I thought we were going to catch them off-guard and score a run and (Mountain Post third baseman) Billy Baratta said he wasn’t expecting it at all,” Plymouth manager T.J. Carlin said. “He didn’t bunt it and missed it, but I was just hoping for a run any way we could. If he got a hit or got hit or got a walk, I didn’t care.”

“I was just sitting back and looking to drive the ball up the middle,” Pollick said. “I was just looking to put the ball in play and see what happened and it went through.”

Plymouth (21-1) advances to the Region 5 Tournament and will open play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against the host team, Sunbury/Northumberland.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, trailing 2-0, Plymouth again resorted to using small ball to get a run in. First, Evan Robaczewski smacked a pinch-hit, run-scoring single to cut the lead to 2-1.

Then with runners on first and third, Matt Bustin, who was running for Robaczewski, was caught leaning off first base, but at the same time, Andrew Tressa stole home as Plymouth tied the score at 2.

Belanchik pitched a complete game for Mountain Post (17-6) and only allowed three hits through the first four innings, but Pollick, who pitched the first five innings for Plymouth, matched him only giving up two hits through the first four.

Mountain Post got to Pollick first as Matt Wotherspoon, the team’s number nine hitter smacked a two-run double with no outs in the top of the fifth for a 2-0 lead. But Pollick struck out the next three batters to get out trouble.

“We had them right were we wanted them, we just couldn’t get the big hits when we needed ’em,” Mountain Post postgrad centerfielder Kevin Wrenn said. “The bottom of the order did their job, but when we got to the top, we went down swinging.”

Al Clocker relieved Pollick in the sixth and only gave up one hit, while fanning two to earn the win.

Ryan Geffert led the Plymouth offense going 3-for-3, while Tressa was 2-for-3. Those two were the only players in the game to get more than one hit as Plymouth had eight hits and Mountain Post only salvaged four hits off Pollick and Clocker.

Berwick in final

Berwick, comprised of players from the Berwick High School team which recently won a PIAA Class 3A championship, will battle Selinsgrove today at 5:30 p.m. at Selinsgrove High School for the Susquehanna Valley League title and the right to advance to the Region 5 Tournament.

Berwick (13-6) lost its first game of the double-elimination tourney, but has battled back to advance to the title game. Berwick defeated Selinsgrove (13-8) 4-2 on Monday to force the title game.

Plymouth 3, Mountain Post 2
Mountain Post Plymouth
ab r H bi ab r h bi
Bedrin rf 3 0 0 0 Durling rf 3 0 0 0
Wrenn cf 2 0 0 0 Clocker cf 3 1 0 0
Chrismer c 3 0 0 0 Geffert 1b 3 0 3 0
MLamore 1b 3 0 1 0 Dolan pr 0 0 0 0
Payton pr 0 0 0 0 SZielen c 3 0 0 0
Baratta 3b 2 0 0 0 Gavrish pr 0 0 0 0
Sweeney lf 2 1 1 0 Moules lf 3 1 1 0
Belanchik p 2 1 0 0 Tressa ss 3 1 2 0
PLamore ss 3 0 1 0 Pollick p 3 0 1 1
Hmmrstne 2b 0 0 0 0 Alles 3b 2 0 0 0
Wthrspn dh 3 0 1 2 Rbczwsk ph 1 0 1 1
Bustin pr 0 0 0 0
Kufta 2b 2 0 0 0
Totals 23 2 4 2 Totals 26 3 8 2
Mountain Post 000 020 0 2
Plymouth 000 021 X 3

2B – Wotherspoon

IP H R ER BB SO
Mountain Post
Belanchik (L) 6 8 3 2 0 8
Plymouth
Pollick 5 3 2 2 4 7
Clocker (W) 2 1 0 0 0 2
WVALL Champions

2008 -- Plymouth

2007 -- Plymouth

2006 - Plains

2005 - Greater Pittston

2004 - Greater Pittston

2003 - Greater Pittston

2002 -- Greater Pittston

2001 - Nanticoke

2000 - Nanticoke

1999 - Greater Pittston

1998 - Plymouth

1997 - Greater Pittston

1996 - Plains

1995 - Wilkes-Barre

1994 - Nanticoke

1993 - Hazleton

1992 - Nanticoke

1991 - Back Mountain and Hanover

1990 - Greater Pittston

1989 - Plymouth

1988 - Back Mountain

1987 - Plymouth

1986 - Northwest-Benton

1985 - Plymouth

1984 - Hanover and Plains

1983 - Greater Pittston

1982 - Swoyersville

1981 - Wilkes-Barre

1980 - Plains

1979 - Wilkes-Barre

1978 - Greater Pittston

1977 - Greater Pittston

1976 - Greater Pittston

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