American Legion Baseball: Dougherty, McAndrew lift Greater Pittston to win

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch | July 2nd, 2016 7:08 am

HUGHESTOWN – Greater Pittston let a three-run lead get away in the top of the seventh inning.

Tyler Dougherty and Alex McAndrew made sure the win did not get away.

McAndrew’s single in the bottom of the seventh inning drove in Dougherty with the winning run in a 6-5 victory over Plains Thursday in a Wyoming Valley Senior American Legion Baseball League game.

Dougherty and McAndrew each finished with three hits. They got help in producing the winning rally from Steve Homza, who finished with two hits and two runs scored.

“Tyler and Alex are probably our best two hitters right now,” Greater Pittston manager Jerry Ranieli said. “(Joe) Gavenonis is starting to heat up, too.”

Greater Pittston scored 20 runs in three games after returning from more than a week off. With a small roster and a variety of absences sending the team into many games with 10-12 players, that has not always been enough production.

“The batting order is doing well,” Ranieli said. “We’re scoring runs, but it’s hard.

“We’ve been playing with a lot of people out of position.”

Dougherty went 3-for-3 from the ninth spot in the order, including leading off with bottom of the seventh with a single through the left side.

Homza’s bunt not only moved Dougherty up, but put him on base as well when he beat the throw to first.

Cory Lescavage’s groundball to the right side sent both runners into scoring position with one out.

McAndrew’s single ended the game. He finished 3-for-4 and reached on an error that produced a run in his other plate appearance in the first inning.

It was a double to deep left-center by McAndrew that put Pittston ahead, driving in the first run of the four-run third for a 5-1 lead.

Greater Pittston had four straight RBI hits in the inning. Joe Gavenonis C.J. Pisack and Dylan Spurlin followed McAndrew. Pisack’s hit was a triple.

Lescavage, who struck out six, retired six straight batters heading into the seventh.

With a busy schedule ahead, Ranieli chose to try to save some pitching and see if Lescavage could get through the inning.

Robb McClay’s one-out, bases-loaded triple turned a 5-2 Greater Pittston lead into a 5-5 tie.

Brandon Charney came on to get a strikeout and an innocent grounder back to the mound to strand McClay at third.

The win improved Greater Pittston to 8-4-1, sending it into the weekend in third-place in a tight six-way race for four postseason berths. Swoyersville led at 9-2, Mountain Post was 10-4, Nanticoke 9-5 Tunkhannock 8-6 and Stripes & Strikes from Hazleton 5-4-2.

Greater Pittston Senior 8,

Swoyersville 3

Lucas Jurchak struck out 14 Wednesday when Greater Pittston knocked off first-place Swoyersville, 8-3.

“Jurchak threw a gem again,” Greater Pittston manager Jerry Ranieli said. “He is pitching very well this year.”

Greater Pittston scored two in the bottom of the first and four in the second for a 6-0 lead.

Cory Lescavage had two hits and two runs in the win. Joe Gavenonis was hit by pitches three times. Dylan Spurlin added a double.

Tunkhannock 12,

Greater Pittston Senior 6

Tunkhannock scored nine runs in the top of the third Monday, then held on for a 12-6 win.

Joe Gavenonis had two doubles, a triple and two runs scored in the loss. Tyler Dougherty also had three hits, including a double.

Plains Senior 8,

Back Mountain 5

Plains started its week by winning its second straight, 8-5, over host Back Mountain Tuesday.

Greater Pittston Junior

Greater Pittston defeated Back Mountain, 4-2, Tuesday in a Wyoming Valley junior game.

Plains Junior

Plains (8-6) split junior games, losing at Swoyersville, 8-3, June 25 and shutting out visiting Mountain Post, 9-0, Wednesday.

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

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