The Toros hammered out a pair of lopsided wins this weekend in District 15 American Legion baseball action. Erik Pulkkinen led the charge, pitching brilliantly in the opener, then banging out four hits in the nightcap as Post 311 swept a twinbill from Hamlin.
Post 311 is now officially a prohibitive favorite to win the District 15 championship.
On Saturday afternoon, the Toros closed out their regular season slate with a doubleheader sweep of the Hamlin Rangers.
Coach Chad Goetz’s lads dealt Post 807 a 12-2 loss in the opener, then romped to a 17-3 win in the nightcap.
With these victories, the Toros improved their over-all record to 13-2 and sealed the deal on a #1 seed in the upcoming tournament.
“This was the first step,” Hawley Coach Chad Goetz told TWI?Sports. “Finishing in first place was the goal since the start of the season. Now, we have to focus on one game at a time and hopefully move on to regionals.”
Post 311 will face a familiar foe in Round One of the 2012 playoffs. The Toros will host Hamlin Thursday in the opener of a three game series. That contest is slated for a 5:30 p.m. start at Paupack.
Game Two is scheduled for Friday night at Western Wayne. Should a third game become necessary, it would be played Saturday evening back in Hawley.
Erik Pulkkinen turned in an electrifying all-round effort Saturday in Hamlin.
The former Paupack diamond star drew the starting nod in Game One and eventually earned the win. Pulkkinen pitched four innings, allowing just one hit and no earned runs. He piled up eight Ks and walk-ed four before handing the ball off to Dan Skibber.
This game was shortened to five frames by the Mercy Rule, so Skibber worked just one scoreless inning.
Cameron Wolfson paced the Post 311 offensive attack with a pair of basehits and three RBIs.
James Goetz found his way on base four times and scored four runs. He also added a double.
Nate Packer took the hill as Hamlin’s starter and ab-sorbed the loss. The south-paw battled his way through three innings and surrendered just one earned run, but was undone by porous defense behind him.
Nick Caucci came on in relief of Packer and pitched the last two frames. Logan Fitzsimmons led the Rangers’ assault with a pair of RBIs.
As well as he pitched in the opener, Pulkkinen was even more deadly at the dish in the Game Two.
Erik terrorized Post 807 pitchers, going 4-for-4 with two runs scored and five RBIs. He ripped an extra base hit in each at-bat, finishing up with two triples and a double.
Goetz was every bit as impressive at the plate. James went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple. He also drove in five runs.
“Those two boys were just killing the ball,” Coach Goetz said. “They were pretty much impossible to get out in that second game.”
Skibber, Goetz and Chris Duff each toed the rubber for Hamlin in another five inning triumph.
Haines earned the start for Hamlin and suffered the loss. He received relief help from Lukeski and Gillette.