Dirlam Brothers power their way to another HLBA playoff championship

Dirlam Brothers put the finishing touches on a stellar season Wednesday night at the Scott Kinzinger Complex.

The Braves blew open what had been close game, erupting for 14 runs in the bottom of the fourth against the Wayne Bank Dodgers.

This offensive explosion catapulted Coach Steve Skiess squad to a second straight Honesdale Little Baseball Association Senior Division championship.

Dirlam Brothers' 20-9 triumph capped a campaign that saw the Braves capture both the regular season and tournament titles.

Eddie Skies led the way for the defending champs.

A talented seventh grader who pitches and bats clean-up, Skies turned in a solid effort on the mound and also crushed a pair of towering homers.

With this win, the Braves finished up the year with a 13-4 overall record. The Dodgers, runners-up in the regular season standings and seeded second in the tournament, ended up with an 11-6 mark.

On the Attack

Jake Turner struck the first blow in this year's Senior Division title tilt, crushing a solo homer to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.

Dirlam Brothers wasted no time in retaliating, though, as Skies ripped an RBI single that plated Jack Eisele and tied score 1-1 in the bottom of the frame.

Samson Fluck led off the top of the second with a solo shot of his own, his first of the season, putting Wayne Bank temporarily back in front 2-1.

It was at this point in the game, however, that Skies began taking control.

Eddie is a diehard New York Yankees fan who idolizes Derek Jeter and loves rookie slugger Aaron Judge. And, he showed some of the best traits of each star on this particular evening.

Skies blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the third, plating Jacob Ward and Peter Modrovsky. This round-tripper gave Dirlam Brothers a 5-2 lead … one it would never relinquish.

Death Knell

To their undying credit, the Dodgers refused to roll over for the Braves despite a deficit that kept growing throughout the game.

Wayne Bank tallied a run in the top of the fourth when Nate Green slugged an RBI double to right. This two-bagger chased home Turner and made the score 5-3.

Then came the fateful bottom of the fourth.

Dirlam Brothers unleashed a relentless attack in this frame, scoring a total of 14 runs and chasing four different Dodger pitchers from the mound.

LaTourette ignited the fireworks with an RBI single. Moments later, Modrovsky plated two with a basehit to center. The highlights of the inning, though, were provided by Skies and Ward.

Eddie hammered his second homer of the game, this one a three-run shot to right field. Four batters later, Jacob brought the crowd to its feet with a grand slam that just cleared the wall in right center.

And, by the time Modrovsky added a bases-loaded triple, the score had skyrocketed to 17-3 in favor of the Braves.

Despite the onslaught, Wayne Bank fought back gamely once again.

Rocco Fluck delivered a three-run double in the top of the fifth, but by then the Dirlam Brothers' lead had become insurmountable.

Skies allowed two more runs in the top of the sixth, but struck out the final two batters he faced to seal the deal on another title.

Eddie authored a complete game victory, pitching six innings and allowing five earned runs.

He also banged out four hits, scored three runs and collected eight RBIs.

Defensively, LaTourette delivered several Gold Glove plays in the Dirlam Brothers infield.

The Braves' third baseman made a brilliant, barehand play on a slow roller for the final out in the top of the third. He added another dazzling assist in the fourth which helped stifle a Dodgers rally.

Turner was the starter for Wayne Bank and eventually absorbed the loss. Jake paced the Dodgers offensive assault with three hits including a homer.

Looking Ahead

Also on the agenda for HLBA players is the 2017 All-Star Tournament.

There will be two teams representing Honesdale his summer.

The 10U squad begins its gold medal quest Saturday in Clifford with a quarterfinal contest against either Delaware Valley or Mountain View.

The 12U team travels to Valley View Friday for an opening round clash with Mountain View. The winner would advance to play Forest City.


Score by Innings...

Dodgers 1 1 0 1 4 2 - 9

Braves   1 0 4 14 1 x - 20