Wallenpaupack Area's varsity squad takes part in this year's "Strike Out Cancer" event.
Coming off a 7-4 setback in their home opener against North Pocono, Wallenpaupack Area's varsity baseball team journeyed to Montage Mountain for a non-league match-up on Sunday.
The Buckhorns were there are part of this year's edition of the “Strike Out Cancer” event, which featured 32 teams from all over northeastern PA.
The one-day tournament is organized each year by North Pocono coach Brian Jardine to honor the memory of longtime high school and college coach Bill Howerton.
Looking for their first win of the season, Paupack sent Pavel Sprague to the hill to face the Cavaliers.
Occupying the home team dugout, the Bucks took to the field first and delivered good defense the first inning.
Sprague opened up by sending the first two batters down looking. While he gave up a double, a fly to center was easily handled by Sam Vargas to retire the side.
Logan Curnal, Alec Babyak, and Dave Ortiz all scored early in the inning giving the Bucks an early lead, but the bottom of the line-up didn’t fare as well and they’d have to settle on just a 3-run inning.
Sprague issued two walks in the second but good defensive play in the infield from Joe Budnovitch, Curnal, and Chris Brindle helped stave off any Eastburg runs.
Vargas took first after getting hit by the pitch, then stole second and went on to score thanks to a pair of sacrifices from Crunal and Babyak, making it 4-0 after two innings.
Two walks and a fielder’s choice advanced the lead-off batter to third base for the Cavs in the top of the third. ESS finally got on the board thanks to a perfectly executed sacrifice.
Sprague capped off his day with one more strikeout and sent the Cavs down swinging once more.
Mike Henry doubled, Skibber walked and Vargas singled in the bottom of the inning, but the Bucks sent no one home, keeping things at 4-1.
Bucks Bounce Back
Skibber came in to relieve Sprague in the top of the fourth. He gave up one run but also chalked up a strikeout.
Paupack had a hard time offensively in the bottom of the inning and it was 4-2 after four.
South woke up big time in the fifth, however, and came back scoring three early on, rattling the Bucks and taking the lead for the first time in the game.
Skibber tallied another K but his defense came in to close out side. Dave Eckert and Skibber both scored in the fifth, gaining back the lead and making it 6-5.
Mitch Guerrieri came took to the mound in the sixth and gave up run, allowing South to tie things up at 6-All.
Then, in the bottom of the sixth, Henry singled and then scored on a hit from Eckert making it 7-6, Bucks.
Guerrieri put down two Cavs batters in the top of the seventh and the Buckhorns closed things out when Skibber, now in right field, got the last out.
“This was a beautiful venue and the field is in great shape,” noted Buckhorns manager Todd Schmalzle.
“There was a nice crowd and the atmosphere was exciting. I thought we played well defensively and really was impressed with how we fought back.
“They had a lot of runners in scoring position and the defense got out of a few jams.
“Offensively we started out strong but quieted down. Then we came back, took the lead, they tied it, and then we won it in the sixth.”
Score by Innings...
ESS 0 0 1 1 3 1 0 - 6
WAL 3 1 0 0 2 1 x - 7