Honesdale's varsity baseball team bids adieu to graduating players
Honesdale closed out one of strangest varsity baseball seasons in recent memory with a tough Senior Night loss.
The Hornets traveled to the newly renovated Schautz Stadium Friday for their Lackawanna League finale against Delaware Valley.
Sadly for local fans, this wound up as just one more “home” game Coach Ernie Griffis’ squad was forced to play on the road due to inclement weather and poor field conditions.
“We played a grand total of three home games this year,” he said. “Two on the football field and one on our actual field.”
Coach Griffis also pointed out that his team had exactly one practice on its home diamond ... a fact that definitely took a toll insofar as wins and losses go.
“It’s been really tough,” he said simply.
Honesdale closed out the campaign with a disappointing 8-4 loss to DV. The Hornets now head into the District Two tournament for yet another road game.
The local lads are 10-10 on the year and seeded fifth in the Class 4A power rankings. Weather permitting, they’ll travel to Tunkhannock on Tuesday for a quarterfinal contest with the fourth-ranked Tigers (9-9).
A Fond Farewell
Five graduating players were honored during an emotional pre-game ceremony at Dunmore.
Andy Carroll, David Curreri, Jack Dennis, Anthony Dell’Aquila and Cade LaBracio have all meant a great deal to the Hornet program over the course of the past four years.
“This is a great group of seniors,” Coach Griffis said.
“They all showed leadership in different ways. They were a pillar of Honesdale baseball for quite some time and we hope that they can add a little bit more to their legacy here in the next week.”
Carroll has been at the front of the varsity rotation all year. A talented multi-sport standout who also excels on the football field, Andy is one of the area’s elite power pitchers.
Carroll has appeared in 12 games and made nine starts. He’s struck out 41 batters and sports a 4.96 ERA.
“Andy has been a constant in Honesdale athletics for his entire career,” Coach Griffis said. “His presence on the mound will be missed. We are looking forward to seeing a couple more solid starts to add to his career during the playoffs.”
Curreri anchors Honesdale’s infield as a silky-smooth shortstop. Offensively, David’s batting average hovers around .300. He’s ripped 18 hits, scored 16 runs and collected seven RBIs.
“David has been like a coach the last two years,” said Coach Griffis. “I hope that the younger players have picked up on how he carries himself on and off the field. His leadership will be missed moving forward.”
Dell’Aquila has emerged as one of the region’s most versatile players. Anthony played every single position on the field this spring. He was also deadly at the dish, batting .375 with three homers, 10 RBIs and a team-high 17 runs scored.
“Anthony has so many tools and is extremely coachable, said Coach Griffis. “You don’t always see that combination.
“No matter what I asked him to do, he’s always said ‘whatever you need.’ Anthony’s team-first attitude will be sorely missed.”
Dennis had the misfortune of suffering a couple of early season injuries. Nevertheless, he battled his way back to make key contributions down the stretch.
“Jack has fought through those injuries and come back to help us both on the mound and defensively at first base,” said Coach Griffis. “Jack’s outlook and his maturity will take him far in life.”
LaBracio provided a steady glove and consistent bat all season long. Cade carries a .303 batting average with him into the district tournament.
“Cade has a great personality and he always keeps the team loose,” said Coach Griffis. “He’s another kid who played out of position at times to make the team better. We will miss Cade’s left handed bat in the line-up.”
Delaware Valley struck first in Friday’s Lackawanna League finale.
The Warriors scored once in the top of the fourth. However, the Hornets retaliated in the bottom half of the frame.
It appeared as though the Red & Black had taken control for good with a three-run outburst in the fifth. But, then the wheels came off as DV erupted for seven in the top of the sixth.
RJ Kruse paced DV’s potent offensive assault. One of the league’s top hitters, Kruse went 2-for-3 with a single, walk and homer. He scored twice and collected three RBIs.
Sophomore Aiden Oliver earned the pitching decision in relief of starter Devyn Fahnstock. Oliver worked 2.1 innings, struck out three and allowed just one hit.
For Honesdale Cole Bannan and Caleb Martin were at the forefront of the Red & Black attack.
Bannan went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, while Martin smoked a double and also plated a pair of runners.
Carroll absorbed the hard-luck mound loss. Dell’Aquila, Martin and Danny Becker also toed the rubber for the Hornets.