Swoyersville tops Abington in Region 5 Legion baseball tourney opener

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com
Abington’s T.J. Lacey delivers a pitch during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
Abington’s Ryan Burke singled and reached base twice during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal
Abington’s Jake Petty follows through on a swing during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20. - Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

THROOP — Pitcher Pat Adamski kept Abington’s hitters off balance throughout the game and his team came up with more clutch hits as Swoyersville cruised to a 5-0 win in the July 20 opening game of the double-elimination American Legion Region 5 Tournament for both teams.

Adamski allowed singles to Abington’s Dan Habeeb, who had three hits, and Ryan Burke, but got a strikeout and pop out to work out of the early jam.

“We just can’t seem to string together a number of hits in a row to score some runs,” Abington manager Vincent Vaccaro said.

Swoyersville’s Steve Banas delivered a big blow in the top of the second with a two-run triple to the gap in right-center field after singles by Dom Bayo and Mike Kane.

“I tell our guys every tournament you go into, in order for us to move on to a regional or state tournament, there is one guy who is really going to have to step up,” Swoyersville manager Sean Toole said. “Today, it was Steve Banas with the big triple in the right-center gap to get us going.

“It was a little bit of a slow start, but we got some timely hits.”

Habeeb and T.J. Lacey had one-out singles for Abington, but Adamski got the next two batters to ground into a fielder’s choice.

“Pat did a great job today,” Toole said. “He kind of had the baseball game under control and he did what he’s done all year. He threw first pitch strikes, stayed ahead in counts and our defense played well behind them.”

Bayo slammed a double off the wall in left-center field in the top of the fourth, but was left stranded at third.

Lacey, who started on the mound for Abington, allowed eight hits over 6 2/3 innings.

“His pitching was fantastic and he kept us in it all game long,” Vaccaro said. “We made a couple mistakes defensively; this should have been a lot closer than the 5-0 score.

Swoyersville added a run in the top of the fifth inning when Zach Sott doubled and scored on an error.

Habeeb singled in the bottom of the fifth for Abington, but was thrown out while attempting to score on a double by Lacey to end the inning.

Adamski scattered seven hits over seven innings to earn the complete-game win.

Swoyersville tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh when Sott doubled and scored, and Jake Packer clubbed a home run over the fence in left-center field.

“Between Austin Sienkiewicz and Jake Packer, I like to think we have two of the best hitters in the whole tournament,” Toole said.

Abington’s T.J. Lacey delivers a pitch during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_ABJ-Abington-Legion-1.jpgAbington’s T.J. Lacey delivers a pitch during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

Abington’s Ryan Burke singled and reached base twice during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_ABJ-Abington-Legion-2.jpgAbington’s Ryan Burke singled and reached base twice during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

Abington’s Jake Petty follows through on a swing during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_ABJ-Abington-Legion-3.jpgAbington’s Jake Petty follows through on a swing during a Region 5 American Legion baseball tournament game July 20. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.