Through fthe first five innings of Sunday’s ballgame, it looked as though Wallenpaupack Area was on its way to an easy win.
This talented 10-11 All Star Team had yet to taste defeat in the District 32 tournament and was already enjoying a 5-1 lead over Western Wayne in the championship game.
However, the scrappy young Wildcats simply refused to go away. Against all odds, Coach John Scott’s squad staged a wild rally that resulted in four runs, a tie game and extra innings.
The two teams then traded runs in the seventh, but then came the moment of truth.
Jake Liddy led off the top of the eighth with a towering homerun deep over the wall in left.
Liddy’s solo bomb ignited the Paupack dugout, seeming to re-energize his tired teammates.
“That was the turning point, no question about it,” an exhausted Coach Chris Strong told The News Eagle. “Jake’s homerun really woke us up. The funny thing is that he missed a sign on the first pitch, but he really made up for it on the second pitch. Wow!”
Players streamed out of the dugout and swarmed Jake at the plate. From that point on, the game’s outcome was never in doubt. The tourney’s top seed tacked on six more runs en route to a 13-7 victory.
“I’m extremely proud of these kids,” said Coach Strong. “There were so many times today when they could’ve just quit, but they never did. They’ve got a ton of heart and I can’t wait to see if we can turn the page and take the next step.”
That next step for Paupack will have to wait for at least a week. According to a tentative bracket circulated at Sunday’s game, the local lads will return to action Thursday, July 19th in Wilkes Barre.
Stay tuned to The News Eagle for updates and complete coverage of the 2012 tournament.
On the Field
Derrick Vosburg took the hill as Paupack’s starter Sunday afternoon in Newfoundland.
The silky-smooth southpaw cruised through the first four frames before being nicked for a run in the fifth. Vosburg finally ran out of gas in the sixth when Western Wayne rallied to tie the game at 5-all.
Derrick dominated enemy batters early on, piling up nine Ks along the way and earning rave reviews from his mentor.
“His delivery to the plate is just so smooth and fluid,” said Coach Strong. “Derrick’s mechanics are really good. He hides the ball from the batter and makes it very hard for them to pick it up. He’s an excellent young pitcher.”
Offensively, Paupack was paced by the hitting of Liddy and Vosburg.
Jake roped an RBI double in the top of the first, then added his mammoth solo homer in the visitors’ eighth. Derrick chased home a pair of runs with singles in the third and eighth.
Alex Pillar also contributed key plays, both on the mound and at the plate.
Paupack’s fireballing righty worked the final two frames and eventually earned the win. Pillar reached base safely three times, scored two critical runs and belted a bases-clearing double in the eighth.
“Alex is a huge part of this team,” Coach Strong said. “He’s our lead-off man and our second pitching ace. Alex really came up big for us in this game.”
Joe Ingulli chipped in with a double and run scored. Nate Trout singled in the top of the first and tallied twice.
Jake Strong didn’t record a basehit, but still managed to be right in the middle of two Paupack rallies. Paupack’s tough-as-nails catcher reached on an error in the first and scored, then was hit by a pitch in the eighth and tallied again.
Score by Innings...
WAL 2 0 2 1 0 0 1 7 - 13
WW 0 0 0 1 0 4 1 1 - 7