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Musto HR sends game into extra-innings

Greater Pittston game with Back Mt. suspended at 12-12

Greater Pittston’s Ryan Carey dives back into first base before Plains first baseman Josh Savakinus can apply the tag.

photo by tony callaio

Pictured above, Greater Pittston’s Chris Murphy fields a grounder during his team’s win against Plains last Monday at Hilldale. Below left, GP pitcher Andre Harris fires a strike to the plate; and Plains pitcher James Castellino delivers to the plate against GP. Below right, Plains first baseman Josh Savakinus catches a pop-up against the fence for an out.

photos by tony callaio

Some late-inning heroics were not enough to get Greater Pittston a win on Wednesday in its battle with Back Mountain at the Atlas Sports Complex.

On the other hand, it was enough to prevent a loss as umpires suspended the 12-12 game after seven long innings of play in West Pittston. The game will be completed as part of a double-header on June 26 with Back Mt. at Atlas.

Greater Pittston got off to a fast start as Ryan Carey led off with double and scored two batters later after Randy McDermott and Kody Nowicki both reached base when Back Mt. committed two errors. One out later, Chris Murphy hit a towering three-run homer to give GP a 4-0 lead.

But Back Mt. came back in the second inning off starter Sam Eramo with four runs before scoring six more in the next few innings to take a 10-4 lead into the sixth.

“It just wasn’t my day,” said Eramo, who allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits and three walks. “I just need to shake it off and do better next time. You have to have a short memory.”

The pitching may have not been what Greater Pittston was looking for, but their offense was keeping them in the game.

Nick O’Brien led off the sixth inning and reached first on a throwing error. Carey followed with a single, and McDermott doubled to score O’Brien and get Greater Pittston within 10-5.

A Nowicki sacrifice fly scored Carey before Ronnie Musto singled to score McDermott and get GP within 10-7.

After a double by Murphy, PJ Bone drew a walk to load the bases. Matt Carroll then delivered a double to clear the bases and tie the game at 10-10. Trent Grove then walked and Andre Harris delivered a single to give GP an 11-10 lead headed to the seventh inning.

Nowicki came in to relieve Anthony Bellino, who was in line for the win after relieving Eramo, in the top of the seventh. But Back Mt. got to the Wyoming Area grad for two runs to take a 12-11 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

The turn in momentum didn’t bode fell for Greater Pittston as both McDermott and Nowicki grounded out to start the inning. But with Musto stepping up to the plate, the defending WVALL champs still had a shot.

And the Pittston Area slugger delivered.

Musto hit a bomb that carried all the way into the back parking lot at Atlas for a homerun to tie the game at 12-12.

Greater Pittston had a shot to win the game after the next two batters walked, but Back Mt. retired the final hitter to send the game to extra innings.

But the umpires suspended the game until a later date citing the length and impending darkness.

GP 9, Plains 0

Andre Harris pitched a complete-game, two-hitter to lead Greater Pittston to a 9-0 win over rival Plains on Monday afternoon at Hilldale.

Harris struck out eight and walked one in seven innings while allowing just two singles, including one to Pittston Area’s RJ Emmett.

Greater Pittston gave Harris a four-run cushion with an outburst in the fourth and then gave the Wyoming Area post-grad some breathing room with five runs in the seventh.

PJ Bone and Sam Eramo led GP at the plate with three hits each. Eramo bashed a two-run homer among his hits, and Bone also drove in a run with a single.

Trent Grove added two hits and two RBI for Greater Pittston, and Nick O’Brien also stroked two hits and scored two runs. Ryan Carey chipped in with an RBI double for GP.

OF 14, Northwest 2

Old Forge Post 513 opened its Wyoming Valley American Legion season with a 14-2, five-inning win over Northwest on Wednesday in Shickshinny.

Post 513 jumped on Northwest with a run in the top of the first, and four in the second before ending the game with nine runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

Dom Avvisato led the way for Old Forge (1-0) with two homers, a single and three RBI. BJ Bocchchio also homered for the Old Forge and drove in three runs.

Michael Long added three hits, including a double for Post 513, and three RBI. AJ Phillips chipped in with a double.

Ryan Fletcher earned the victory, striking out six in five innings.

Dispatch staff writer Rick Notari contributed to this report.

Standings

Greater Pittston…2-0

Back Mountain…1-0

Old Forge…1-0

Nanticoke…3-1

Swoyersville…2-1

Tunkhannock…0-0

Plains…2-2

Mountain Top…2-3

Hazleton…1-2

Wilkes-Barre…1-2

Northwest…0-4

This week’s schedule

Today

GP v. Nanticoke

OF v. Mountain Top

Monday

GP at Swoyersville

OF at Plains

Wednesday

GP v. Mountain Top

OF v. Nanticoke

Saturday

GP v. Northwest, 2 p.m.

OF v. Wilkes-Barre

Sunday

GP v. Tunkhannock

OF v. Back Mt. 2:30 p.m.

OF v. Back Mt. 5 p.m.

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