Coach Charlie Rollison's 10-year-olds won back-to-back games this weekend in Cal Ripken Tournament action. The HLBA All-Stars pummeled Waymart by a score of 30-9, then survived a scare from archrival Paupack, 12-8.
The Honesdale Little Baseball Association All-Stars got off to a fast start this weekend at the annual District Five Babe Ruth tournament.
This year’s edition of the 10-year-old tourney is being hosted by Waymart and has attracted top teams from all over northeastern Pennsylvania.
Under the direction of veteran skipper Charlie Rollison, the HLBA All-Stars posted back-to-back wins this weekend at the double elimination event.
Honesdale opened up against the host team from Waymart and rolled to a dominating 30-9 victory. The Red & Black followed up that win with a wild 12-8 decision over Paupack.
Coach Rollison’s squad is now the lone unbeaten remaining in the field. Honesdale will await the winner of a pair of losers’ bracket battles among Valley View, Waymart and Paupack.
That contest is slated for a 6:00 p.m. start at the Homer Dome in Waymart.
Off & Running
The HLBA’s 10-year-old All-Stars sprinted out to a big early lead Saturday afternoon against Waymart.
Honesdale pushed eight runs across the plate before the host team even got on the board. However, Waymart drew as close as two runs on a pair of occasions before suffering a pitching and defensive meltdown.
The young Warriors surrendered a whopping 19 runs in the top of the fifth en route to a 30-9 setback.
“That’s about as well as we can play,” Coach Rollison told TWI Sports afterward. “The nice thing about this group of kids is how well they play together as a team. We really don’t have any superstars...and, to be honest, that’s they way I?like it.”
Jarod Martin drew the starting nod for Honesdale and was awarded the decision. Martin pitched two innings and posted a pair of strikeouts.
Dan Figura worked the second, then handed the ball off to teammate Tristan Petroski, who turned in two solid frames.
Petroski piled up six strikeouts, then yielded to closer Mark Ambrose in the fifth and final inning of this Mercy Rule-shortened contest.
Ambrose also turned in a big day a the dish. Mark went 3-for-5 with a pair of triples. He tallied twice and collected an eye-popping seven RBIs.
Tyler Taninies was perfect at the plate against Waymart. The young HLBA slugger went 5-for-5 in his District Five tournament debut.
Tom Minella also contributed mightily to Honesdale’s cause. The slick-fielding shortstop was 5-for-6 on the day.
Defensively, the Red & Black recorded a pair of highlight reel plays that short-circuited Waymart rallies.
Petroski set the tone early on with an impressive effort behind the plate. Tristan fired the ball to Minella who was covering second. The throw took everyone by surprise and picked off a Waymart runner who’s wandered too far from the bag.
Minella then closed things out with a solo performance at short. Tim fielded a hot shot up the middle, stepped on second and fired to first for a game-ending double play.
Score by Innings...
HON 5 3 2 1 19 x - 30
WAY 0 6 2 1 0 x - 9
On to the Finals
The HLBA?All-Stars followed up Saturday afternoon’s offensive explosion with an equally impressive victory over longtime rival Paupack on Sunday.
Petroski returned to the hill in this one, but required long-term relief help from Tom Minella in recording a 12-8 decision.
Tristan pitched the opening two frames, allowing just one run while fanning four. He then handed the ball to Minella, who dominated Paupack batters until a rocky sixth inning.
In the end, though, Minella and his Honesdale teammates had enough left in the tank to escape with a win.
“We’re playing very good defense so far,”?said Coach Rollison. “There are some excellent fielders on this team. All our pitchers really have to do is let the other team hit the ball. We can make the plays behind them.”
The Red & Black proved that point with two more sparkling plays in Sunday’s contest.
Jarod Martin made his presence felt in the outfield with an outstanding effort in the bottom of the second.
The HLBA’s cannon-armed outfielder charged a basehit in right. Martin came up firing, unleashing a perfect throw to cut-off man Jack Rickard.
Honesdale’s shortstop wheeled and fired to the plate, where Petroski was ready &?waiting. Tristan snagged the ball and scrambled to tag out a Paupack runner who dove headfirst into the plate.
TJ?Jackson also turned in a memorable play in the outfield grass. Honesdale’s rightfielder erased what looked to be certain extra bases with a beautiful run-ning catch.
Tim Minella paced the HLBA?offensive assault. Minella went 2-for-3 and was right in the middle of two Honesdale rallies.
Caleb Jensen, Tom Minella, Jack Rickard, Tristan Petroski, Tyler Taninies and Mark Ambrose each added a basehit.
Corbin Babyak started for Paupack and absorbed the loss. He was relieved by Mitch Guerrieri, who stayed on the mound through the fourth.
Alex Winkler pitched a scoreless fifth and survived a rocky sixth.
Offensively, Paupack was led by Chase Petroski, Chris Brindle, Dylan Harnish, Guerrieri and Babyak.
Score by Innings...
HON 5 1 2 1 0 3 - 12
PAU 0 1 0 0 1 6 - 8