|
|
|
Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Wayne County Men's Softball Playoff Action Electrifies

  • By this time Tuesday, only four teams will still be standing in the race for a 2013 championship.
    • email print
  • One of the most exciting regular seasons in recent memory is now in the books for members of the Wayne County Men's Softball League.
    Now, as the "dog days" of summer loom, three teams have advanced in the 2013 tournament.
    On Tuesday, defending champion Wargo Flooring closed out its initial playoff series in two games, posting a sweep of Chet's Place.
    Invisible Hunter, a team based in Honesdale, also swept its quarterfinal set with back-to-back victories over Gravity Inn.
    Joe's Ranch House put the finishing touches on a sweep of its own. The Beach Lake boys recorded two wins over Crossroads and moved on.
    The only quarterfinal set that's still going is between Kestler's and Ravenhaus.
    Game One of the series ended in a 5-5 stalemate when darkness finally fell in the ninth inning.
    Kestler's romped to a lopsided victory in Game Two, which means that the suspended contest will be resumed this evening.
    Advancing
    Wargo Flooring has been the class of the league for a solid decade now.
    Last August, the Varden-based ballclub cruised to its eighth consecutive crown with a sweep of Gravity Inn in the championship series.
    Wargo's opened this best-of-three set with a 20-3 rout in Game One, then sealed the deal on another title via a 19-13 Game Two triumph.
    With longtime player/ coach Russell "Rusty" Gregory at the helm, the team finished all alone atop the standings at 15-1.
    This dazzling mark earned Wargo's a #1 seed in the tourney and homefield advantage all throughout the playoffs.
    Wargo's opened its latest title defense last Thursday night with a road trip to Union Dale. There, the local lads romped to an 18-1 Mercy Rule win over eighth seeded Chet's Place.
    Page 2 of 3 - Brian Bolduc drew the starting nod for Wargo's and earned the decision. The fireballing righty went all five innings and allowed only one run.
    Bolduc helped his own cause by hammering a 2-run homer over Chet's trademark split rail fence.
    Justin Collins also went yard, hammering a solo homer of his own as Wargo's cruised to victory.
    The power surge continued Tuesday evening as Wargo's closed out the series with a 13-4 rout.
    Bolduc earned his second straight playoff win and received salvos of support from three teammates.
    Collins enjoyed a huge day at the dish, crushing a pair of long homers and collecting four RBIs.
    Mark Bell and Kenny Morris also went deep for Wargo Flooring.
    Pitching Gem
    John Blockberger turned in a brilliant effort in the circle, leading Joe's Ranch House to a 9-1 decision over Crossroads.
    This game took place at the RD Wilson Field in Waymart and propelled Joe's into the semifinals.
    Blockberger employed his trademark knuckleball to baffle Crossroads batters. Using his favorite pitch, the Ranch House ace carried a perfect game into the fifth.
    "She's my baby," John said of the knuckler he's been nurturing for five years now. "I was feeling like a champ out there."
    Brandon Diefenbach led the Ranch House offensive attack with a towering 2-run homer in the fourth.
    Defensively, Tim "T-Pot" Shelton delivered the Play of the Day for Joe's.
    The lightning-quick centerfielder made a diving catch of a blistering line drive that saved three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
    Page 3 of 3 - Down to the Wire
    Invisible Hunter is the tournament's #2 seed and boasts one of the league's most potent offenses.
    Game One of this series was played Thursday night at St. Vincent's and went right down to the wire.
    With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Joel Watson stepped up and played the hero's role.
    The former HHS and Wilkes University baseball star crushed a walk-off homer into the Maple City gloaming, giving Invisible Hunter a dramatic 5-4 win.
    Game Two was played Tuesday night at the Homer Dome in Waymart.
    Ron "Kid" Hendershot drew the starting nod and went the distance in earning a 6-5 decision.
    Invisible Hunter scored in the top of the first, but then surrendered four runs in the bottom half of the frame.
    After that, the visitors chipped away at Gravity starter Kenny Bednash and eventually pulled ahead.
    Joel Watson and Mead Sandercock paced the offense with two hits each.
    Ryan Hiller added a solo homer that ultimately proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
    "It's playoff time, so every game counts," Mead said afterward. "We have really good pitching, good defense and good hitting. I like our chances."
      • calendar