When most kids turn 16 they usually make a mad dash to the DMV to procure that all-important Driver’s License.
Alec Babyak of Tafton probably doesn’t have that sort of time. According to his mother, he recently had a birthday, but she didn’t mention anything about a car. Instead, she chattered on about how busy the family was with baseball.
She’s probably correct.
The whole family was at the game. On this night they were at Keith Sutton Memorial Field where first-place Tusten was in town to take on the Honesdale Stars in the Chiefs’ last game of the regular season.
Usually clad in Paupack purple, Babyak found a summer opportunity to play Teener ball across the Delaware. He donned a blue jersey, and has been having a shining season so far.
A few nights before he had thrown a no-hitter against Forest City, racking up seven strikeouts and only allowing up two walks in a 10-0 shutout. Giving his arm a rest, Alec was tending third base for this game.
On the Diamond
As the visiting team, Tusten was up first, and Alec was the lead-off batter facing Forrest Sheard, who was on the hill for the Stars.
Four balls sent Babyak walking on his first at bat and a passed ball sent him to second.
Sheard walked the second batter, too, then gave up the rubber to Figura. A sacrifice pushed Alec up to third before a single drove him home.
Tusten added two more runs in the top of the first before a force play and a fly-out ended the side.
The Stars failed to muster a run in the first as the first three batters were retired.
A groundout to lead off the Chiefs’ second inning was quickly put out of mind by a single and a walk before the top of the order rolled around, putting Babyak at the plate with a runner in scoring position.
An RBI was not to be as Figura caught Babyak watching the ball go by on a called strike to get his first strikeout of the game.
A homer by Kelly helped Tusten add four more unanswered runs making the score 7-0 after two innings.
The top of the third saw the Chiefs bottom of the order again getting on base before Babyak stepped up to the plate again, only to fly out to center. Kelly followed with a double and scored again on a single bringing Tusten’s total up to 11 runs.
The Stars managed to squeak out two runs in the bottom of the third before they were retired by a ground out. They staved off any additional scoring by Tusten through the top of the fourth with Gavin Canfield now pitching.
Page 2 of 3 - Honesdale couldn’t add any more to their tally in the bottom half of the inning, but managed to stay alive going into the fifth with the score now at 11-2.
Corbin Babyak led off the inning with a single only to be thrown out in a fielder’s choice when big brother Alec followed him at the plate.
The elder Babyak went on to steal second and ev-entually scored his second run of the night. That was followed up with another run provided by Tusten’s Pierce bringing the score to 13-2 as the Stars came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth.
In spite of the clear skies, the Stars would not shine this night.
While the regular season ended for the Chiefs, Babyak still has a lot of baseball left this summer.
Catching up with him after the game he noted he’ll be playing in a Travel League out of Scranton and he had recently tried out for the Keystone Games. Confident of Alec’s skill, his dad feels he’ll most likely make the regional team for the state games.
Alec is a bit shy when it comes to talking about his playing. When asked about his no-hitter he seemed nonchalant about the accomplishment, crediting the Chiefs’ offense as much as his pitching.
He had already pitched a shutout earlier in the season as well but wasn’t boastful about that either.
Resting on his laurels doesn’t seem to be Alec’s style. He’s focuses on the game at hand and keeps an eye on the near future.
Off the diamond, Alec has been hitting the links for the past two or three years. He noted that while golf hasn’t improved his batting, it has helped him keep his eye on the ball.
He enjoys bass fishing too, but baseball is his specialty. He’s played many other positions since he was five, mostly spending time behind the plate and recently developing his infielding skills, but he likes being on the mound.
When asked what he likes about pitching, Alec responded simply, “I like the feeling of control.”
He knows he wants to concentrate on pitching, citing Washington Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strausburg as being someone he admires, despite the fact that he’s primarily a Yankees fan.
He’ll be entering his junior year at Wallenpaupack in the fall, but hasn’t even started thinking about a college playing career.
“I know I want to play, but I don’t know where yet.” he stated.
There’s still many games in between now and then, and Alec is really only focused on the next one.
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