Wyoming Valley West beats Abington Heights, 7-4, in District 2 quarterfinal

By John Erzar - jerzar@timesleader.com
Abington Heights’ Anthony Duboski slides safely into third as Wyoming Valley West shortstop Austin Sienkiewicz misses a wide throw in the second inning. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Wyoming Valley West shortstop Austin Sienkiewicz fields a grounder against Abington Heights. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
From left, Wyoming Valley West’s Stephen Banas, Jake Packer, Damian Davies and Mike Pollick celebrate after a 7-4 victory over Abington Heights in a District 2 Class 5A quarterfinal game Friday. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader

KINGSTON — Struggling offenses sometimes need to find a way to manufacture runs.

Wyoming Valley West, which came into Friday’s game with a .235 team batting average, did just that against Abington Heights in a District 2 Class 5A baseball quarterfinal game.

Five Spartans were hit by pitches and all five scored as Valley West defeated Abington Heights 7-4 despite getting just eight hits with three each coming from Maryland recruit Justin Vought and Austin Sienkiewicz.

Third-seeded Valley West (8-6) will play in the semifinals Wednesday against the winner of Saturday’s North Pocono at Crestwood game. The Spartans will host the game if seventh-seeded North Pocono wins. They’ll be on the road if No.2 seed Crestwood wins.

Abington Heights finished the season at 6-7. Coach Bill Zalewski didn’t want to discuss the outcome which included a controversial call that gave Valley West a 5-3 lead in the third inning.

“I don’t have a comment,” Zalewski said. “Just good luck to Valley West.”

The score was tied 3-3 in the third when Valley West loaded the bases with one out after Sienkiewicz grounded a single to center, Mike Pollick was hit by a pitch and Zach Kobusky walked. An out later, Zach Sott chopped a weak grounder down the third-base line that the Comets claimed hit off his foot, which would have made it a foul ball. Third baseman Tommy Rothenberger was unable to secure the ball, Sienkiewicz scored and the bases remained loaded.

Zalewski came out of the dugout to get an explanation as the Abington Heights fans shouted their displeasure at the umpires.

Vought followed with another weak grounder, but was able to beat the throw to first, scoring Pollick and pushing the lead to 5-3.

“We hit the ball but sparingly,” Valley West coach John Milius said. “When it comes it comes. We usually hit in bunches or walk in bunches. It doesn’t seem like we string things together repeatedly.”

Except on Friday, it was hit batters. Zach Kobusky was hit by a pitch with one out in the second. Josh Montalvo followed and was also plunked. Kobusky later scored on a fielding error and Montalvo came across the plate on a single to center by Vought.

Valley West finished off its scoring with two more runs in the fifth. Kobusky led off and was hit by a pitch. Sott was hit by a pitch an out later. Kobusky scored on a single to center by Dom Bayo after Vought walked to load the bases. Sott scored on a groundout by Jake Packer.

Valley West sophomore ace Nate Baranski pitched 6.2 innings before exiting after reaching 101 pitches. Damian Davies recorded the final out for the save.

Baranski came into the game with a 1.05 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 40 innings. Abington Heights roughed him up for three runs on three hits in the second, sending eight batters to the plate. A pair of Valley West errors didn’t help matters as all three runs were unearned.

“I kind of got in my own head,” Barnaski said of the inning. “I got caught up with their bench. I wasn’t happy with myself getting into the zone.”

Baranski settled in after the second, retiring the side in order in the fourth and surrendering just three more hits. He set down six batters in order before yielding to Davies for the final out.

Abington`AB`R`H`BI

Fayocavitz rf`4`1`2`1

Harvey ss`4`0`0`0

McCreary cf`3`0`0`1

Swank 1b`3`0`1`0

Duboski lf`3`1`2`0

Myers c`3`0`0`0

Burke dh`3`1`0`0

Termini p`0`0`0`0

Lacy p`0`0`0`0

Rothenbrgr 3b`1`1`0`0

Barcia ph`1`0`0`0

Eckersley 2b`3`0`1`1

Totals`28`4`6`3

WVW`AB`R`H`BI

Sott rf`2`2`0`0

Vought c`3`0`3`2

Bayo lf`3`0`1`1

Packer 1b`4`0`0`1

Banas 3b`4`0`0`0

Sienkewicz ss`4`1`3`0

Pollick dh`3`1`0`0

Baranski p`0`0`0`0

Davies p`0`0`0`0

Kobusky 2b`1`2`1`0

Bird pr`0`0`0`0

Montalvo cf`3`1`0`0

Totals`27`7`8`5

Abington`030`010`0`—`4

Wyo Val West`122`020`x`—`7

Abington`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Termini (L)`5.0`6`5`0`2`8

Lacy`2`2`2`2`1`1

WVW`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Baranski (W)`6.2`6`4`1`2`6

Davies (S)`0.1`0`0`0`0`0

Abington Heights’ Anthony Duboski slides safely into third as Wyoming Valley West shortstop Austin Sienkiewicz misses a wide throw in the second inning.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL052017HSBASEAHWVW2-1.jpgAbington Heights’ Anthony Duboski slides safely into third as Wyoming Valley West shortstop Austin Sienkiewicz misses a wide throw in the second inning. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Wyoming Valley West shortstop Austin Sienkiewicz fields a grounder against Abington Heights.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL052017HSBASEAHWVW3-1.jpgWyoming Valley West shortstop Austin Sienkiewicz fields a grounder against Abington Heights. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

From left, Wyoming Valley West’s Stephen Banas, Jake Packer, Damian Davies and Mike Pollick celebrate after a 7-4 victory over Abington Heights in a District 2 Class 5A quarterfinal game Friday.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL052017HSBASEAHWVW1-1.jpgFrom left, Wyoming Valley West’s Stephen Banas, Jake Packer, Damian Davies and Mike Pollick celebrate after a 7-4 victory over Abington Heights in a District 2 Class 5A quarterfinal game Friday. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
WVW benefits from five hit batters to top Abington

By John Erzar

jerzar@timesleader.com

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

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