HUGHESTOWN — Cole Cherkas made sure the Keystone State Games did not have to wait long for the first runs of the Scholastic baseball tournament to be scored.
Cherkas singled in two runs with one out in the bottom of the first inning of Thursday’s tournament opener to help send Pocono-1 on its way to a 9-8 victory over West-2.
The game was played on Pittston Area’s field at the secondary center, which will be the site for games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Playing on his home field from the high school season, Cherkas went 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored, along with the two early RBI.
Cherkas, who recently completed his sophomore season at Pittston Area, was the third baseman and clean-up hitter in the opener.
Later in the day at Hilldale Field in Plains, Cherkas was the starting pitcher in a 16-2 loss to West-1.
Cherkas the victim of errors on routine groundballs to start the first and third innings. He left after three innings in which he gave up eight hits, but only one of the nine runs against him were earned. Cherkas struck out two and walked five.
“He didn’t do a bad job,” Pocono-1 head coach Sean Foley said. “He threw strikes. He’s just growing into his own and he will be a good pitcher in this area.”
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