Though the Major Leagues wrapped up their season a few weeks back with the Phillies winning it all, the Hawley Legion teams just concluded their seasons this past weekend.


Though the Major Leagues wrapped up their season a few weeks back with the Phillies winning it all, the Hawley Legion teams just concluded their seasons this past weekend.

This Fall season saw the Hawley Legion teams have over 50 different players participate in three divisions spanning in age from 11 years old up to 18 years old and for the first time ever they fielded a developmental team under the direction of Wallenpaupack Head Coach Jerry Capone. The developmental team consisted of players that were 13 and under, the Junior team was for 14-15 year olds and the Senior team was comprised of 15-18 year olds. All three teams competed in “wood-bat” tournaments in Scranton over Labor Day weekend with the Senior and Junior teams both claiming second place.

13 and Under

The Developmental team, managed by Jim O’Dell and assisted by Greg Babyak, is a new American Legion Division that was created to teach the young ball-players the basics and fundamentals of the “Big League Game.” Sixteen boys took advantage of this new program for Hawley and it will surely give them an advantage in the upcoming Spring season. The team played ten games and finished with a winning record of 5-4-1.

In the last game of the season, held on Nov. 9, the 13 and under team took down South Scranton by a score of 13-7. Connor Jones took the hill and was the winning pitcher. Alec Babyak and Justin O’Dell came in as the middle relievers, and Brandon Newsome closed the door on Scranton.

In the first inning Sammy Vargas blasted a single and then was knocked in by Jones who crushed a double scoring Vargas. Babyak walked, Newsome had a base hit RBI, O’Dell doubled with two RBI’s and Michael Henry belted an RBI double to take an early lead.

South Scranton did fight back plating one run in the second, five in the fourth, and one in the seventh, but in the fifth inning Paupack took the lead for good when Babyak was on third and O’Dell put down a bunt for the successful squeeze play.

Junior Legion

The Junior Legion team was managed by Chad Goetz and recorded the best overall record in their division going 6-1 on the season. The team was made up of 16 players who no doubt gained valuable experience and confidence that will be needed when they move up the ranks to the next level of play.

Senior Legion

The Senior Legion team, managed by Capone and assisted by Erik Lenz finished with an outstanding record of 12-3, including a ten game, two month winning streak. The team also had four double-header sweeps on the season taking down Danville, West Scranton twice, and South Scranton.

As a team, the Senior Legion squad batted .298 with three players, John Gardepe, Chris Ortiz, and Erik Pulkkinen competing in all 15 games. A handful of players only missed one or two games on the season, giving Coach Capone a wide pool to choose from when looking for his starting line-up.

Gardepe paced the team at the plate going 21 for 45 (.467), seven doubles, one triple, 13 RBI’s, nine runs scored and four stolen bases. Ortiz went 15 for 38 (.395) and led the team in both RBI’s (18) and walks (9). Pulkkinen finished the season going 12 for 39 (.308) and 13 swiped bags. Chris Peterson was 11 for 26 (.423), D.J. O’Heren collected 12 stolen bases.

On the hill the combined pitching staff allowed only 41 hits and 17 earned runs on the season. Gardepe pitched 19 complete innings with an ERA of 0.95. Cody McCuen pitched 11.1 innings and only gave up 11 hits, O’Heren went 12 innings collecting 19 K’s, and Tim Silsby had an ERA of 2.00 with 15 strikeouts.

“Once again, I would like to thank Chad Goetz, Jim O’Dell, Greg Babyak, and Erik Lenz for all of their help and commitment to our Paupack players. With coaches that volunteer so much time, it is a big to our school programs. To be playing baseball through October, and into November, our players had a great experience. The weather was great, better than we’ll be playing in the Spring, in March and April. We discovered who is truly committed to baseball here at Paupack. If you want to be playing double-headers in November, then you are a baseball diehard, and we have plenty,” said Coach Capone.