Wallenpaupack Area's JV diamond team is building a foundation for the future.
Looking for a win to help offset their 2-7 record, Wallenpaupack Area's junior varsity baseball team hosted the Abington Heights Comets for a Friday showdown on the shores of The Big Lake.
Starting for the Bucks was AJ Pagano, who, with help from the Paupack infield, managed to hold the Comets to one hit and one run in the first.
A single and two batters hit by pitches helped get some runners on base for the Buckhorns. However, a strikeout and solid defense kept the Bucks down through the inning.
After one, it was 1-0 Abington.
Buckhorn fielding stayed strong through the second. While a few of the Comets' batmen made it to the bags, they were prevented from scoring thanks to some good gloves.
Abington's defense held tough through the second and staved off any Buckhorn tries, sending them down 1-2-3 to close out the inning.
A grounder slowed a Comet advance in the third. While two runners were on the bags, only one scored. Pagano was able to tally his first K of the day for the second out.
Another grounder put the Comets to sleep. Pagano along with Logan Curnal scored off hits by Eckhart and Petersen. The two then scored on RBIs from David Eckhart and Marc Petersen.
A line drive to the Comet shortstop put a hold on any further advance and after three it was 2-2.
The Buckhorns fended off the Comets during the fourth and allowed just one error while Pagano was able to chalk up another K.
However, it was a three-up and three-down for the Bucks in the bottom of the fourth.
Curnal nabbed a pop-up for one out in the top of the fifth, but a 1-out Abington double put a runner in scoring position and kept the pressure on the Bucks.
A single into left advanced the lead runner to third and he was able to score on a fielder's choice making it 3-2, Abington, and Pagano would toss in another K to retire the side.
Wade Gilpin legged out a Buckhorn single and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Pagano. A fielder's choice allowed Gilpin to reach third but he would get left there as a strikeout closed out the inning.
Abington massed another two runs in the top of the sixth and continued to hold off the Buckhorns by sending them down 1-2-3.
The Comets were then able to score again in the top of the seventh taking the score to 6-2.
Over & Out
Forced to play the bottom of the seventh inning, Paupack's Tyler Harnish came through with a single.
He moved to second base on a pass ball and then repeated to get to third. A 2-out single by Pagano drove home Harnish, making it 6-3, but a grounder to second ended things for the Buckhorns.
The Comets, with a stellar performance, walked away with the win.
Skipper Tim Granquist noted post-game that the JV team, while now 2-8, has been playing some solid defense in the last few games.
"We're losing a lot of close games," he explained. "We're just not hitting as well as we would like."
Granquist, along with Assistant Coach Kevin Pfohl remarked on Pagano's solid pitching as well as Curnal's leadership both offensively and in the dugout, and Gilpin's defensive leadership.
While the prospects for a winning season have faded, three home games and one on the road provide for some means of redemption.
With a bit of luck, hopefully they'll finish the season on the upswing.