The Giants and Dodgers, two perennial title contenders on the HLBA scene, will meet Thursday to decide the Senior Division championship. Elegante defeated Dirlam Brothers in an epic, extra-inning affair, while Wayne Bank defeated Rusty Palmer's in the other semifinal clash.
The Braves and Giants thrilled Maple City youth hardball fans with an epic battle Monday night in Honesdale Little Baseball Association play-off action.
Dirlam Brothers leapt out to a 3-run lead in the bottom half of the first, but watched that lead evaporate as Elegante rallied to take the lead, then eventually win the game in extra innings.
The final score was 6-4.
“I?know it sounds like such a cliche, but it really is a shame either team had to lose,” Dirlam Brothers assistant Pete Goyette told TWI Sports. “This was a very well-played game between two evenly-matched teams.”
With the win, Elegante advances to the Senior Division championship game. The Giants will take on the Dodgers, who are this year’s top seed. Wayne Bank claimed a spot in the title tilt after dealing the Pirates a 10-4 loss.
The HLBA Senior Division final is slated for this evening at 6:00 p.m. on Freddie Reisch Memorial Field.
Punching Their Ticket
Nick Casazza went to the hill as Elegante’ starting pitcher, but ran into trouble in the first.
Casazza walked Scott Bayly and Noah Box, setting the stage for Gus Martin. The Braves clean-up man made Nick pay for his wildness, crushing a three-run homer over the wall in center.
Martin took the mound as the Braves’ starter and also fell victim to the longball.
Gus issued back-to-back free passes to Tyler Taninies and Nathaniel Cousineau, bringing up Brian Gibbons with a chance to give Elegante a lead.
Gibbons didn’t squander his opportunity, blasting a three-run homer. Brian’s Big Fly put the Giants ahead for the first time by a score of 4-3.
That razor-thin lead held up until the sixth when the Braves rallied to tie the game and force extra innings.
Nick Casazza & Adam Kelly combined to keep Dirlam Brothers in check offensively. Nick pitched five frames and piled up 11 strikeouts. Adam added three more in two innings of work.
Nathaniel Martin and Lucas Patton tallied the deciding runs in the top of the seventh. Both reached base on walks. Martin scored on a fielder’s choice and Patton came in on a wild pitch.
The Giants are coached by Chris Pietraszewski, Cliff Kelly, Pete Casazza and Marty Rickard.
Score by Innings...
Giants (11-5) 0 1 3 0 0 0 2 - 6
Braves (11-5) 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 4