A rainout last Thursday and a bye this past Tuesday meant it had been over a week since the Crossroads men took to the diamond.
On the eve before the Summer Solstice the weather was everything anyone could want to have for a night of softball at the Paupack Township Park.
Playing host was team Radio Shack who placed Ray Russo on the mound to square off against Bob Barna and the boys from Waymart.
Early & Often
Russo allowed two hits and staved off any early runs while sending their lead-off hitter Chico Gevaras and their 2-hole man Chris Davis across the plate.
RBIs were recorded by Scott Bates and Jason Borski, respectively.
Still somewhat chilly, Crossroads managed only one base runner in the second inning. Radio Shack similarly stranded two on base without tallying a run.
The Crossroads came alive in the top of the third as they mounted an offense and put Bob Bunting, Kyle Barna, Nick Rodio, and Donnie Howell across the plate to snatch the lead 4-2.
Once more, Barna and his backing force held Radio Shack to just two hits and no runs. The Crossroads rally continued into the fourth inning as well.
A 2-run homer by Joe DeAngalis got things going and the score began to climb as eight of the next nine batters all scored and soon the score was 14-2.
Once through the order, Russo was able to cool off the Crossroads and the inning ended after just three more batters.
Fighting back, Radio Shack's Mike Esposito drove home Jim Stender and Russo to make it 14-4 before a fly out, ground out, and strikeout sent Radio Shack back to the field.
Pouring it On
Page 2 of 3 - Bob Bunting, Kyle Barna, and Nick Rodio all scored in the top of the fifth, upping the score to 17-4.
Further crushing Radio Shack's chances, the Crossroads boys then threw up some good fielding.
Back-to-back groundouts and a caught pop-up sent Radio Shack down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth giving Crossroads a quick return to the plate, but Radio Shack reorganized and returned the favor sending all three batters down in order.
Russo then batted Stender home to give Radio Shack another run, making it 17-5, but they left two on base at the close of the sixth as the Crossroads' outfield easily dispatched with the fly balls driven their way.
Bunting and Barna added additional Crossroads hits in the top of the seventh and were followed by Justin Kromko who batted in an RBI and Rodio who sacrificed to drive in another run.
Howell then hit, advancing Kromko, and then both were driven home by Jeremy Palko who rounded all four bases himself in one turn on a series of errors pushing the score to 22-5 before all was said and done.
Undaunted, Radio Shack continued to swing for the fence in the bottom of the inning but the Crossroads outfielders got under everything that was hit their way.
Three up, three down, and Radio Shack was off the air.
Player-Manager Jim Wolfe credits the Crossroads success largely in part to the fact that they have a lot of experience playing with each other.
"We created the team last year and went 8-8," he said.
"Most of the guys are all from the Waymart and Lake Ariel area. A lot of us have played ball together from Little League through High School. That makes us a tight group."
Page 3 of 3 - Now at 5-3 for the season, the Crossroads' team looks poised to improve in their sophomore season and give chase to the title.
Young and skilled with both bats and gloves, they are definitely a force to be reckoned with in the Wayne County League this season, and perhaps for a few more years to come.
Score by Innings...
CROSS 0 0 4 10 3 0 5 - 22
RADIO 2 0 0 2 0 1 0 - 5