Honesdale baseball fans gathered at Keith Sutton Memorial Field to honor graduating players.
Three talented young men were honored in an emotional pre-game ceremony Monday afternoon at Keith Sutton Memorial Field.
Nick Maritato, Peter Kelly and Taylor Dux were all escorted to home plate by family members in celebration of Honesdale's 2013 Senior Day.
"It's kind of a bittersweet feeling," admitted veteran varsity baseball skipper Brian Gillow. "These are three great kids who've meant an awful lot to this program. We're really going to miss them."
Sadly for a big Senior Day crowd, the Hornets couldn't translate all that emotion into a win.
The Red & Black put up a valiant struggle against perennial powerhouse Abington Heights, but came out on the short end of a 6-1 Lackawanna League final.
With this loss, Honesdale fell to 4-7 on the season.
Next up for the Hornets is another Division I-II cross over contest. First pitch for Thursday's away game at Valley View is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
All three Senior Day honorees have played key roles for Honesdale on the diamond this spring.
Kelly is a 4-year starter who plays third base and pitches. The Hornets' three-hole hitter is among the league leaders in just about every offensive category.
"He's an intense kid," said Coach Gillow. "Pete always has his game face on and you know he's going to give you 100 percent every single day. He's played every position except for catcher, so we'll really miss him when he leaves."
Pete will be continuing his baseball career at the next level as a member of the Kings College baseball team. He is the son of Cliff & Maureen Kelly.
Maritato has only played two years of varsity ball, but he's quickly become one of the Lackawanna League's most feared pitchers.
A flame-throwing lefty, Nick just recently authored a masterpiece against local rival Western Wayne.
Maritato twirled a complete game gem, working seven innings and allowing just two hits. He struck out seven and issued five free passes.
Whether pitching or playing first base, Maritato bats in the clean-up spot.
"Nick is a good hitter, but he's our number one pitcher right now and we're hoping to ride him into districts," said Coach Gillow. "Nick has a good sense of humor and he keeps everybody loose in the dugout."
Nick is the son of Jerry & Cynthia Maritato. He hopes to attend Temple University in the fall.
Dux is Honesdale's designated hitter and a source of serious pop in the Hornets line-up.
Taylor possesses strength and power in the six spot. He's the type of hitter to whom Coach Gillow can turn in key situations.
"Taylor has worked very hard these last four years," he said. "It's great so see him having success here during his senior season. I'm very happy for him."
Taylor is the son of Philip & Therese Dux. His future plans include enrollment at a technical school.
Dale Weidner earned the starting mound assignment for Honesdale against Abington Heights.
The junior southpaw got off to a rough start by surrendering a homer to lead-off man Kevin Elwell.
After that, though, Dale settled right in.
He pitched his way out of trouble in the second and third, hanging up zeroes right through to the sixth.
In the meantime, the Red & Black struggled to solve Comet starter Dave Manasek. The fireballing junior righty piled up eight strikeouts and limited the Hornets to just one hit.
Honesdale finally scratched out a run in the bottom of the fifth, but that would be all on this day.
Abington erupted for five more in the final two frames en route to a 6-1 triumph.
Logan Freiermuth and Alex Evanitsky recorded the home team's only base knocks, while Alex Sandercock was credited with a run scored.
Score by Innings...
AH (8-3) 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 - 6
HON (4-7) 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 - 1