Pittston Area paid a visit to the Maple City Wednesday afternoon and dealt the homestanding Hornets a devastating loss in District Two baseball action. The Patriots rallied to defeat the Red & Black by a score of 12-9 in Class AAA.
On an afternoon with temperatures soaring into the low 90s, Honesdale’s banged up baseball team took the field looking to open its quest for a District Two title.
Sadly for Maple City diamond fans, Pittston Area has title hopes of its own...a fact made clear when the Patriots slugged their way to a 12-9 victory.
This heartbreaking loss eliminated the Hornets from the 2010 Class AAA championship chase. Honesdale closes out the spring season with an overall record of 8-7.
Pittston Area (9-7) now advances to the quarterfinals and a dubious date with undefeated Valley View.
The Cougars are the bracket’s #1 seed, having posted a 14-0 record in Lackawanna League action. The ballgame is slated for a 4:30 p.m. start this afternoon in Archbald.
The Red & Black entered the fray on Wednesday down three veteran starters: seniors Erik Sandercock, Jorge Gutierrez and Scott Shaffer.
This left Honesdale with a huge void in its line-up. Fortunately, the Hornets still had 4-year varsity starter Jake Schilling.
“I can’t say enough about Jake Schilling,” Coach Brian Gillow told TWI Sports. “He didn’t need to talk. Jake’s performance did all the talking for him.”
With all this in mind Honesdale was ready to fight and they wouldn’t give up ‘till the bitter end. On the mound for the Red & Black was sophomore Jordan Meyer.
“This is going to be a huge game for him,” said Gillow, referring to the fact that this was Meyer’s first appearance as a starter.
Coach Gillow also noted that this will give Meyer great experience for his next two years as a pitcher.
Pittston Area took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first before the Hornets could even pick up a bat.
The Pats added on another run in the second, but this time the Hornets were able to counter.
Junior Alex Dieterich drew a walk to begin the inning. He scored when fellow junior Steve Gaylets drove him in with a sacrifice fly.
After a scoreless third, the action picked up in the fourth.
The Pats had runners on the corners in the top of the 4th with no outs and were able to bunt for a hit. This gave Pittston another run.
Down 5-1...and with runners on the corners again...the Hornets turned a memorable double play.
Pittston’s runner on first took off and Gaylets fired to second to no avail. Schilling then alertly fired back home to catch the runner at the plate for one out. Gaylets threw down to third as the greedy Pat runner tried for one bag to many.
“Out!” cried the base umpire.
In the scorebook that’s a 2-4-2-5 double play...not something you see everyday. Pittston then hit a fly ball to end the inning.
Jordan Meyer helped his own cause in the bottom of the fourth with a 2-run double. This brought the score to 5-3 with two frames left to play.
The action picked up again in the bottom of the fifth.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Schilling stepped up looking to add another piece of history to an already stellar high school career.
It wasn’t exactly picture perfect, but it got the job done. The ball left Jake’s bat and Pittston was ready to walk off the field a routine fly ball to left field.
Inning over right? Wrong!
The leftfielder was blinded by the sun and Schilling took quick notice of this.
“He was hustling right out of the box,” said Coach Gillow.
Jake flew around the bases for an inside the park grand slam which quickly silenced the Patriots and gave the Hornets their first lead of the game 7-5.
After an embarrassing 5th inning, the Pats held their heads up and refused to roll over.
The visitors started the 6th inning with a solo HR bringing them within one run. Then, with two down and runners on the corners, the runner on first was caught in a pickle.
This running miscue caught the Hornets off guard. And, while trying to catch the runner at first, the game was tied up at 7-7.
The bottom of the 6th began and the Hornets started off the same way the Pats did...with a solo homer. Fasshauer cranked one for the Hornets, giving them a one run lead.
Senior Nick Joyal then roped a double to the outfield and advanced to third on an error. The Hornets were ready to blow the game open when Pittston brought in a southpaw reliever.
Four batters, three quick outs. Inning over. Honesdale didn’t take advantage of the situation and Pittston was ready to pounce.
An error to begin the inning followed by a basehit and a bunt-single put the Hornets in a funk. Bases loaded, no outs.
Two runs would score on a laserbeam grounder to Schilling that not even Chase Utley could have handled.
After this hot shot, Jake took the mound in relief of Meyer.
Down one run...with runners on the corners...Schilling tried to stop the flood gates from opening. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do the job. With a hit and a Hornet miscue, the Pats ended the inning with a 12-8 lead.
Schilling got on base for the Hornets after drawing a walk with one out in the home 7th. Then, with two outs, he scored on an RBI single from Fasshauer.
Sadly, there would be no storybook ending for Schilling and the Hornets as they lost the game 12-9.
Score by Innings...
PIT (9-7) 3 1 0 1 0 2 5 - 12
HON (8-7) 0 1 0 2 4 1 1 - 9