By Nick Wagner
Two local teams advanced to the District 16 and 31 Major Baseball semifinals, which were held on Saturday, July 11 at Pittston Township Little League field.
West Pittston represents District 31, while Pittston Township represents District 16. Also in District 31 is Back Mountain American, Kingston/Forty-Fort and Back Mountain National. In District 16, it will be Mountain Top, Plains and Hanover.
Pittston Township edged Nanticoke, 5-4, to advance to the semifinals of the District 16 on Tuesday.
Pittston Township finished 3-1 in Pool B, giving it second place and a semifinal game at Pool A champion Plains (4-0) at 2 p.m. Saturday.
With a West Side win over Wyoming/West Wyoming on Monday, West Pittston secured a spot in the District 31 semifinals. West Pittston then went on to beat Kingston/Forty-Fort, 13-5.
The win gave West Pittston (3-1) the Pool B top seed and a home game Saturday where it will host Pool A second seed Back Mountain National (3-1) at 2 p.m. KFF (3-1) will travel to Pool A champion Back Mountain American (4-0) also for a 2 p.m. game Saturday.
The results of Saturday’s games were not available at press time.
Saturday’s winners will play for the District 16 and 31 championships on Tuesday, July 14 at Pittston Township. The games will be televised on My Network TV.
Pittston Township took a 2-0 lead over Nanticoke early on. Matt Cocco walked with two outs and J.J. Walsh followed with a routine grounder that was misplayed. A couple bad throws later and the two were across the plate.
An RBI double by Stevie Sciandra and a groundout by Josh Baiera increased the lead to 4-0 in the third.
Pittston Township a run back in the fifth. P.J. Pisano led off with an infield single, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a groundout and scored on another wild pitch.
Pittston Township starter Andrew Gallia picked up the win, allowing one hit over three innings.
In a game that lasted 2 hours and 50 minutes and ended just before 11 p.m. on Monday, West Pittston outlasted KFF 13-5.
Ethan Kozden and Caden Bonita each had two RBI for West Pittston, which sent 11 batters to the plate twice and 44 for the game. KKF sent 29 batters to the plate a combined 73 plate appearances.
J.J. Hood was the winning pitcher. He threw three innings and struck out five. But like all pitchers, he was bit by the walk bug and allowed five base on balls.
West Side 13
Wyoming/West Wyoming 8
J.T. Gober was 3-for-4, Nick Elko was 2-for-3 and Riley Rusyn made several great defensive plays at shortstop for Wyoming/West Wyoming in a loss to West Side in District 31 play.
Hanover’s Joe Curcio struck out seven and gave up one hit as Hanover clinched a berth in the District 16 semifinals. For Jenkins Twp./Duryea, Cameron Kohut and Drew O’Malley each had a hit.
Avoca/Dupont’s Alex Hoban hit a grand slam and Will Aldrich had three hits in a loss to Plains in District 16 action.
Dante Vitale and Daren Clarke each hit a home run, while Matt Egidio added four hits to Plains’ win.
Ian Gartley had two hits and Chad Regan was the winning pitcher. Plains will host Pittston Township at 2 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals.
Drew O’Malley hit a game-winning two-run double in the bottom of the fifth as Jenkins Twp./Duryea topped Avoca/Dupont in District 16 action.
Cameron Kohut threw a complete game with seven strikeouts. He also had two hits at the plate. Teammates Jacob Black finished with two hits, while Brayden Powers made two strong defensive stops at second base in the win.
For Avoca/Dupont Derek Cunius and Chris Urbanski had two hits apiece.
Pittston City 4
Darren Clarke and Matt Egidio each hit two-run homers in Plains’ District 16 victory. Pittston City’s Steve Yanchis hit a two-run home run, while Cole Ferranti, John Symon and Jacob Giardina each had a hit.
South Wilkes-Barre 10
Pittston Twp. 2
John Barker doubled and hit two singles as South Wilkes-Barre topped Pittston Twp. in District 16 play on Sunday.
Pittston Twp.’s Adam Williams and AJ Scialpi each doubled.
Bradley Gill picked up the win, and Mike Koval notched the save to lead Swoyersville in District 31 play.
Jonah Astolfi, Cameron Moser and Jeffery Huish had hits for Exeter. Tyler Sciandre and Tyler Athman scored.
West Side 15
West Pittston 5
Nick Giza had three hits and scored three runs, and Dominick Granahan got the win for West Side.
Tanner Alfano had two hits for West Pittston.
Kingston/Forty Fort 3
Matt Pelleschi hit a three-run homer and pitcher Jack Mathis fanned five in the victory.
Jack Gorham and Chris Hannagan each singled and scored for KFF.
Pittston Area 6
Tyler Mozeleski and Tyler Wright combined to allow just five hits, striking out seven as Pittston Area went on to top Plains. Connor Hazlet had two hits and two RBIs while Tyler Wright had two hits of his own for Pittston Area.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick