East Stroudsburg North was on the prowl around The Big Lake Tuesday night looking for an easy win.
While the Timberwolves did manage to squeak by with a 10-8 victory, the Buckhorns didn't make things easy for them in this non-league encounter.
On the Hill
Danny Skibber took the mound for Paupack and started off strong by carding back-to-back strikeouts,
However, Skibber ran into some trouble after giving up a double and a walk. Another two-bagger drove in the first ESN run and a wild pitch allowed a second, but Skibber closed down the side strongly with another strikeout.
Joey Budnovitch and Alec Babyak each rounded the bags for Wallenpaupack in the bottom of the inning to tie things up 2-2.
Skibber allowed three more batters to reach base in the top of the second before succumbing to a muscle strain.
He yielded the mound to David Ortiz who finished off the inning but before all was done, the T'Wolves added three more runs.
With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Budnovitch and Babyak again added a run each as did James Goetz, tying the game once more at 5-5 before a ground out ended the Bucks run.
Ortiz allowed just one run in the top of the third.
Brandon Newsome and Ean Hibian lead things off for the Bucks in the bottom of the inning, each making it home after being batted in by Anthony Basullo and Sam Vargas, respectively.
This put the Bucks up 7-6 at the end of three.
While Ortiz posted two Ks early in the fourth, ESN battled back quickly.
Page 2 of 3 - The T'Wolves chalked up two doubles, the second of which chased home the tying run. A follow-up RBI gave ESN the lead once more.
The Bucks would find no love in the bottom of the inning either.
While Babyak stole second after he was walked, he found himself stranded there as the following three batters went down in order thanks to solid fielding by North.
The T'Wolves led 8-7 at the close of four innings.
The Bucks pulled their belts tight in the top of the fifth allowing just a double then they battled back to tie it 8-8 thanks to an RBI single from Vargas that drove in Newsome.
In the top of the sixth, Newsome took over for Ortiz. Back-to-back Ks followed by an infield out gave the Bucks a 1-2-3 inning.
Unfortunately, they would receive exactly the same thing from the T'Wolves in the way of a line drive, a strikeout, and ground out.
Things remained 8-8 at the end of six innings.
Over & Out
Newsome nabbed two strikeouts in the top of the seventh, but North also managed to score two more runs bringing the score to 10-8 before a fly-out retired the side.
Unable to muster a comeback in the bottom of the inning, the Bucks sent three to the plate and all came back without reaching base thanks to two strikeouts and a groundout.
While they showed resilience, Paupack came up short against fell 10-8 against East Stroudsburg.
"I wasn't happy with the start," said Head Coach Todd Schmalzle.
Page 3 of 3 - "We got booted around during the first part of the game and then had to play catch-up for the rest of the night. I am proud that they battled back several times and thought we did a good job staying with them until the end."
The Buckhorns were scheduled to face the North Pocono on Thursday in the regular season opener at home.
Schmalzle noted that the Trojans are a very good team and he expected a challenging game.