The winner will have to wait

By John Erzar - jerzar@timesleader.com
Pittston City/Duryea’s Aiden O’Haire hits a grounder against Abington National relief pitcher Gavin Walsh during Saturday night’s Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game in Duryea. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pittston City/Duryea players look of the dugout during their Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game against Abington National on Saturday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pittston City/Duryea starter Jeff Mazonis delivers a pitch during Saturday’s Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game against Abington National in Duryea. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

DURYEA — Sunday will be quite busy at the Duryea Little League field.

Rain and lightning suspended Saturday night’s Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game in the third inning with District 17 champ Abington National leading Pittston City/Duryea 4-3. The game will resume at 3 p.m. Sunday, while the rest of Sunday’s schedule will go on as planned.

So that means the loser of the suspended game will play at 5:45 p.m. against District 32 champ Green Ridge. The winner of the suspended game will play at 8 p.m. against District 31 champion Back Mountain National.

The game was halted at 8:55 p.m. when an umpire saw lightning in the distance. Since Little League rules prohibit any game resuming until 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder, the earliest the teams would have been able to return to the field was 9:25.

The plan was to wait out the delay until 10 p.m. when a final decision would be made. But once heavy rain began falling and with weather radar showing there was no letup likely, the game was suspended about 9:15. The decision was wise considering the area was engulfed by rain and lightning a short time later.

By keeping the schedule intact, Section 5 remains on course to crown a champion either Tuesday or Wednesday. The Section 5 champion advances to the state tournament July 22-29 at the Berwick Little League.

Abington National struck first Saturday, using three consecutive walks to load the bases with one out in the first inning. An out later, Michael Naegele poked a single to center for a 2-0 lead.

Abington National starter Ryan Nealon was motoring along when he was pulled with two outs in the second inning. He had thrown only 20 pitches, keeping him eligible to pitch again Sunday. Pittston City/Duryea took advantage to score three runs in the third off two relievers.

Lou Lussi got Pittston City/Duryea going with one out with a single to right field. Nic Borgia then reached on a throwing error, sending Lussi to third. Lussi scored on Silvio Giardina’s sacrifice fly to center. Mickey O’Malley knocked in Borgia with a double to left and later scored on a passed ball for a 3-2 lead.

Abington National regained the lead, 4-3, in the bottom of the third when Gavin Walsh lifted a two-run single to right just out of the reach of second baseman Giardina. Nealon followed with a walk to load the bases just before lightning suspended the game.

Pittston City/Duryea’s Aiden O’Haire hits a grounder against Abington National relief pitcher Gavin Walsh during Saturday night’s Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game in Duryea.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071518Pitt-AbingtonNatLL_1.jpgPittston City/Duryea’s Aiden O’Haire hits a grounder against Abington National relief pitcher Gavin Walsh during Saturday night’s Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game in Duryea. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pittston City/Duryea players look of the dugout during their Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game against Abington National on Saturday.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071518Pitt-AbingtonNatLL_2.jpgPittston City/Duryea players look of the dugout during their Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game against Abington National on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Pittston City/Duryea starter Jeff Mazonis delivers a pitch during Saturday’s Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game against Abington National in Duryea.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071518Pitt-AbingtonNatLL_3.jpgPittston City/Duryea starter Jeff Mazonis delivers a pitch during Saturday’s Section 5 Little League Major Baseball game against Abington National in Duryea. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Pittston City/Duryea, Abington National suspended due to rain

By John Erzar

jerzar@timesleader.com

SECTION 5 MAJOR BASEBALL

(all games at Duryea Little League)

Saturday’s Scores

Back Mtn. Nat. 13, Green Ridge 3

Abington Nat. 4, Pittston City/Duryea 3, third inning, suspended

Sunday’s Games

Abington Nat. vs. Pittston City/Duryea, 3 p.m., completion of suspended game

Green Ridge vs. loser of Pittston City/Duryea and Abington Nat., 5:45 p.m.

Back Mtn. Nat. vs. winner of Pittston City/Duryea/Abington Nat., 8 p.m.

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar