Behind a dominating performance from ace Ryan Loughran, Paupack posted a 10-0 mercy rule win over Forest City on Tuesday. The Bucks' senior southpaw fanned the first seven batters he faced en route to a one-hit, four inning exhibition stint.
Bad news for the rest of the Lackawanna League: Wallenpaupack Area seems to be picking up right where it left off last spring in Division One baseball action.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Buckhorns played host to Forest City in an exhibition game. Paupack ran roughshod over the visiting Foresters en route to a five inning 10-0 win. Not surprisingly, Ryan Loughran was the star on this day.
The senior southpaw drew his second starting assignment of the spring and turned in an utterly dominating performance. Loughran used his trademark circle-change to fan the first batter he faced, then proceeded to twirl four nearly-perfect innings.
Ryan struck out seven Foresters in a row before finally allowing a two-out bloop single in the top of the third.
By the time his day was through, Loughran had racked up 10 strikeouts, walked one and surrendered just that measly single. He left the mound after throwing 62 pitches and earned nothing but praise from his mentor.
“Ryan Loughran pitched an outstanding game,” Coach Bob McGinnis told TWI Sports. “When he pitched the other day, Ryan struggled to find the plate. But, he showed very good control today. He located his fastball and change-up well...and that’s an excellent sign for us.”
Wallenpaupack Area is the defending Lackawanna League champion. With Loughran and Lucas Ellex at the front of their rotation, the Bucks rolled to an undefeated (14-0) Division One record. Paupack blazed a trail through the District Two play-offs, but finally tasted defeat in the Class AAAA championship game.
Coach McGinnis’ lads will begin defense of their league crown on Thursday, April 3rd. Paupack is slated to host Scranton High School at 4:30 p.m. on the shores of The Big Lake. In the interim, the Bucks will play exhibition games against Pocono Mountain East, East Stroudsburg North, Port Jervis and East Stroudsburg South.
The Right Stuff
Ryan Loughran served notice right from the start that he’d brought his ‘A’ Game on Tuesday. The crafty lefthander open-ed the game by whiffing Wade Malicky with a nasty change. He then proceeded to strike out the side on just 14 pitches.
Paupack scored the only run it would really need in the home half of the frame. Corey Linden, who played a solid all-round game, slapped a one-out single off Forest City starter Chris Nebzydoski.
Linden was erased on a fielder’s choice grounder, but Nick DeFebo took his place on the basepaths and quickly wreaked havoc. DeFebo stole second in a cloud of dust, then came all the way around to score when the throw sailed into centerfield.
Nick was something of a revelation last year as a junior. He hit just under .300 while scoring 16 runs and playing a solid third base. The Buckhorn staff decided that DeFebo’s innate athleticism and strong arm could best be utilized in the outfield. So, Nick will see the majority of his starts in left. Coach McGinnis also has big plans for him on the hill.
“We need Nicky to make things happen for us,” Coach McGinnis said. “He can be a very disruptive force on the bases, but we’re even more excited about his pitching. I see Nicky as our closer this year. He throws hard and has a good curveball, so I think he’s going to be tough to hit, especially late in games.”
Another pitcher who figures to have an impact for Paupack this spring is Tim Silsby. A senior who hasn’t played organized baseball in more than two years, Silsby is a tall, hard-throwing righty. He relieved Loughran Tuesday, working one inning and fanning all three Foresters he saw.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom half of the fourth when Paupack broke things wide open. The Buckhorns chased Nebzydoski from the mound and tallied eight runs before the inning ended.
Ian Dassance, Jeff DeSane, Chris Ortiz and Linden each contributed an extra base hit to the cause. Dassance is just a freshman, but earned the start at first and roped a double to left center. DeSane hammered a triple into the rightfield corner. Ortiz and Linden each collected a pair of RBIs on two baggers.
Ortiz will once again play a key role for the Bucks, both offensively and in the field. A three year starter behind the dish, Chris is one of the most experienced catchers in the entire Lackawanna League. He’ll be hitting clean-up this season and will be expected to drive in the majority of Paupack’s runs.
“Chris Ortiz is an absolute workhorse,” said Coach McGinnis. “He’ll do anything you ask him to do. Chris works very hard in practice and he sets a good example for the younger kids. There’s going to be a little bit of pressure on Chris this year, but I think he’s up to the task. We’re looking for him to have a really big year.”
Score by Innings...
FC 0 0 0 0 0 x x - 0
WAL 1 0 0 8 1 x x - 10