By Tom Robinson
For Sunday Dispatch
PLAINS TWP. – Plains used a strong start to ensure a big finish.
Doing all the scoring in the first inning Friday, Plains completed a successful five-day run with a 9-2 romp over Wilkes-Barre in Wyoming Valley League Senior American Legion baseball.
Plains played each of the five days, winning the last three and going 4-1 to move above the .500 mark on the season. It outscored opponents 23-3 in the winning streak and 39-10 for the week.
Plains not only got all nine of its runs, but also had all seven of its hits in the bottom of the first inning to improve to 7-6 on the season and improve its chances of reaching the league playoffs.
“In the beginning of the year, we had a lot of one-run games that could have gone either way,” Plains manager Dave Parsnik said. “We’ve battled back to get to where we are.
“We’re 7-6 and we could easily have been 10-3.”
Tim Cavanaugh got it started from the leadoff spot with two singles. He scored the first and last runs of the inning and also drove in a run with his second hit.
Kyle Turonis and Robby McClay each had two-run singles.
Jacob Lupas started and finished strong while throwing a four-hitter with two walks and six strikeouts. He got three of the strikeouts while holding Wilkes-Barre hitless for 2 1/3 innings and recovered from a two-run fifth to retire the last seven batters, including strikeouts to end the fifth and the game.
“We were able to get through the last three games with our starter without using anyone else,” Parsnik said. “That’s key when you’re playing every day, to keep your pitching to a minimum.”
Plains goes into another stretch of games on three straight days, facing defending champion Swoyersville Sunday and Tuesday and Valley Monday, with Danny Constantino and Chase Nowak well-rested.
Back Mountain 0
Justin Glasgow threw a five-inning, one-hit shutout and Kyle O’Fier went 4-for-5 with four RBI Thursday during a 12-0 romp over host Back Mountain at Misericordia University.
Glasgow struck out six and walked one.
Al Zuba was 2-for-3 with two runs and Jacob Lupas drove in two.
“We’ve started to swing better,” Plains manager Dave Parsnik said. “In the last four or five games, we’ve hit the ball better.
“In the beginning, we were struggling for runs and playing defense. Now, our hitting is better and our defense has been consistent.”
John Fagotti drove in Tim Cavanaugh with each of the Plains runs to back the four-hit pitching of Adam Giovanelli in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Plains.
After Valley scored in the first inning, Fagotti drove in Cavanaugh with a third-inning sacrifice fly and a fifth-inning single.
Cavanaugh had a single, walk and two stolen bases.
Giovanelli walked two and struck out one.
Plains tested Nanticoke’s perfect record before losing, 5-4, in 10 innings Tuesday.
Kyle Turonis, who scored two runs, and Chase Nowak had two hits each.
Back Mountain 2
Kyle Turonis drove in four runs Monday to lead a 15-hit attack in a 12-2, six-inning rout of Back Mountain.
John Fagotti had two hits while scoring three runs. Chase Nowak, Tim Cavanaugh, Brandon Butry, and Steve Dressler also had two hits.
Danny Constantino threw a complete game for the win.
Greater Pittston, which is 6-2 for third place behind Nanticoke and Swoyersville, had the week off.
Neighboring Plains continues to offer the toughest tests for an otherwise dominant Greater Pittston Youth American Legion team.
Greater Pittston needed Dylan Melberger’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh Tuesday to pull out a 6-5 victory over Plains and remain undefeated in the Wyoming Valley League.
In the previous meeting between the two teams, Greater Pittston led by just one run after 5 ½ innings.
Melberger and Alex McAndrew had two hits each in the win.
Dylan Spurlin got Greater Pittston’s offense off to a strong start with a two-run double in the first inning.
Steve Yordy earned the win in relief.
Dominick Stella kept Plains in the game with five strong innings of relief.
George Oko, Tony Egidio and John Delucca each had two hits. Oko had a triple, Egidio a double and Delucca two RBI.
Joe Carey added a double.
Unbeaten Greater Pittston opened a two-game lead in the league standings in its previous outing when it went on the road and roughed up second-place Mountain Post, 9-1, June 20.
Matt Wright threw a three-hitter while the offense produced seven hits and took advantage of 13 walks.
Melberger and Spurlin drove in three runs each.
Greater Pittston finished the week with a 6-3 win over Valley Wednesday.
McAndrew allowed just three hits in six innings to get the win. Wright got the last three outs for the save.
Mike Bonita had three hits and scored three runs to lead the Greater Pittston offense.
Spurlin had a hit and drove in two runs. Alex Gonzalez, C.J. Pisack, C.J. Rome and Melberger had the other Greater Pittston hits.
Plains played on three straight days, winning twice. It defeated Nanticoke, 5-1, Monday and outscored Mountain Post, 12-10, Wednesday.
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