First Posted: 4/23/2013
Professional baseball returned to PNC Field this season.
With help from its parents club, the Wyoming Area baseball team returned to the professional stadium as well.
The Warriors moved their April 21 Wyoming Valley Conference home game against Coughlin to the $43-million Moosic facility, taking on the Crusaders following a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders International League game last Sunday.
Coughlin came away with a 3-0 victory on Josh Featherman’s four-hit shutout, but Wyoming Area’s top players gained a memorable experience while Nick O’Brien put on a personal highlight show.
“The parents club always sets us up to do that,” Wyoming Area coach Chick Androscavage said of the game at the site of what was once Lackawanna County Stadium. “Every year, we try to get up and play a game there.
“Unfortunately, it was a league game this year. You try to get everyone you have in, but it’s different in a league game.”
The Warriors and all other baseball teams had to take a year away from PNC Field last season when it was rebuilt while the then-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees spent the season on the road before returning to a new name and a new-look facility.
“It’s always something nice,” Androscavage said. “We did miss it.”
Nick O’Brien had to hustle just to take part in the game.
The senior center fielder and leadoff hitter was in Philadelphia earlier in the day practicing for the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game. The Wyoming Area quarterback and Bucknell University recruit is expected to play running back in the May 5 game in Downingtown.
O’Brien led off the bottom of the first with a double. He was the only Wyoming Area player with an extra-base hit and the only Warrior with two hits. He also stole a base.
Defensively, O’Brien had the game’s two most impressive plays, covering the extra space in center field.
Wyoming Area starting pitcher Jake Granteed had retired the first five Coughlin batters, including four on strikeouts, before Eric Adamczyk’s liner to the left-center field gap in the second inning. O’Brien made a running, overhead grab to end the inning.
O’Brien also ended the fifth inning. This time, with two men on, he pulled in a Kyle Lupas drive to deep, straightaway center field while falling to his back.
“He’s a very gifted athlete,” Androscavage said of O’Brien, who is also running track this spring. “ … To come in and do that after going to a football practice is very special.”
Wyoming Area had few offensive highlights.
O’Brien, Jordan Zezza and Mike Carey gave the Warriors singles in the third through sixth innings, but the Warriors never advanced a runner past seasond base.
“The bottomline is we didn’t hit,” Androscavage said. “We couldn’t put any hits together.”
Featherman finished the shutout when pinch hitter Zach Lopatka ripped a shot back through the box, ricocheting off Featherman’s shoulder to Lupas, a step away from the bag at first.
Granteed worked five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits while walking two and strikeout out five.
Jeremy Zezza allowed a run and a hit while striking out two in two innings.
The Warriors came back to win two games before the week was over, improving to 5-3 in the WVC to remain in contention for the Division 2 title.
Wyoming Area 7, Hazleton Area 3
The Warriors scored twice each in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings Wednesday night to break a tie and defeat Hazleton Area, 7-3.
Wyoming Area manufactured the go-ahead runs in the fifth with the help of three straight bunts.
Bart Chupka, who homered, and Nick O’Brien drove in two runs each. Zach Lopatka and Jordan Zezza had two hits each.
Joe Gavenonis struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings to get the win. Erik Walkowiak retired the last two batters.
Wyoming Area 2, Dallas 1
The Warriors downed second-place Dallas, 2-1, in 11 innings Friday to tie the Mountaineers for second place in Division 2. WA and Dallas are 5-3, a game behind 6-2 Tunkhannock.
The game was the longest of the season in the WVC.
Trent Grove drove in both runs, Mike Carey held Dallas to a run for nine innings and Jake Granteed pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
Grove drove in runs in the first and 11th innings. Grove, Jordan Zezza and Nick O’Brien each had two hits.
Carey gave up just four hits in nine innings. He walked six, struck out five and gave up only an unearned run in the second inning.
Granteed overcame two hits and two walks by striking out two.
Tunkhannock 7, Pittston Area 1
Josh McClain limited Pittston Area to one hit Monday while leading Tunkhannock to a 7-1 victory over Pittston Area.
Leadoff hitter Josh Razvillas had the only hit for the Patriots. Michael Delaney scored the only run in the fifth inning.
Michael Schwab started and worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs, for Pittston Area. Matt Mott struck out two while striking out two in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Lake-Lehman 14, Pittston Area 6
Pittston Area lost for the sixth time in seven league games when Lake-Lehman broke its six-game losing streak with a 14-6 win Friday.
Josh Razvillas, who drove in three runs, and Justin Martinelli, who scored twice, each went 2-for-3 in the loss.
WA at Valley West
Holy Redeemer at PA
PA at Dallas
WA at Berwick
WA at Holy Redeemer
PA at Berwick
Hazleton Area 5-3
Pittston Area 1-6
Wyoming Area 5-3
Lake Lehman 2-6
Holy Redeemer 1-7