The Warriors bounced back from two straight losses to hammer Honesdale in weekend diamond action.
Delaware Valley got off to a torrid start this spring in Lackawanna League baseball action.
The Warriors reeled off five straight wins to start the season, but then ran into some serious trouble in Week Three
Coach Dave Peters' squad suffered consecutive losses to Valley Views and Abington Heights in a pair of crossover contests ... losses that left a bitter taste in the veteran skipper's mouth.
"We definitely lost our focus there for a while and I'll take most of the blame for that," he said. "That Abington game in particular was just a debacle and I think it served as a little bit of a wake-up call."
Following what Coach Peters called a "very intense" practice, Delaware Valley returned to the diamond for a rare Saturday morning game at Honesdale. There, the Warriors wasted no time in erasing memories of those ugly losses.
Thanks in large part to the pitching of Dakota Amant and the all-round play of Joe Addvensky, the visitors raced out to a big early lead en route to an eventual 7-2 victory.
"We played much better today," Coach Peters said. "We still have a bunch of games left and there's obviously lots of room for improvement, but this was a step in the right direction."
With this win, DV improved its regular season record to 6-3. The Warriors are all alone atop the Division II standings with a 1.5 game lead over North Pocono.
On the Hill
Amant is one of the rising stars among Lackawanna League pitchers.
On Saturday, the sophomore southpaw used a lively fastball and sharp-breaking curve to handcuff Hornet hitters.
"Dakota is doing a really nice job for us," Coach Peters said. "He struggled a little bit with his control at times, but he gutted it out and pitched his way out of trouble."
Amant threw 111 pitches on his way to the complete game win. He worked seven innings, scattering seven, issuing five walks and fanning seven.
Honesdale starter Kevin Miller pitched well in the early going, but was finally undone by control issues ofmhis own.
DV scratched out one run in the second, then erupted for four more in the top of the fourth.
Matt Rivera did the majority of the damage. The senior shortstop came to bat against Hornet reliever Sully Rutledge with two down and the bases loaded. With the runners in motion on a 3-2 count, Rivera delivered a bases-clearing double that broke the game wide open.
"We needed that ... it was huge," Coach Peters said.
Clean-up man Jonathan Portugal also delivered two key base knocks and rightfielder Justin O'Dell tallied a pair of runs. However, it was Addvensky who was right in the middle of each DV rally.
A lightning-quick senior lead-off man, Addvensky reached base three times with a single and two walks. He stole three bases and scored two runs, earning high marks from his veteran skipper.
"Putting pressure on the defense has always been our philosophy and Joe does that better than just about anyone," Coach Peters said. "We like him in that lead-off spot because he gets on base and makes things happen."
Addvensky's numbers bear out his mentor's praise. Joe is among the Lackawanna League leaders in batting average (.478), hits, runs and steals.
Over & Out
Miller paced the Red & Black attack, raking two hits off Avant.
Alex Sandercock and Pat Hart also contributed key at-bats, collecting an RBI apiece.
AJ Meyer brought the crowd to its feet with the defensive Play of the Day. The junior centerfielder saved at least one run with a beautiful diving catch in the top of the seventh.
Rutledge pitched 2.1 innings in relief of Miller before handing the ball off to Logan Freiermuth, who worked one scoreless frame.
Next on the agenda for Delaware Valley is a Thursday afternoon road trip to North Pocono. The Trojans are 4-3 and coming off a 9-6 win over Paupack.
Honesdale also returns to action Thursday at Western Wayne.
First pitch for each of these Division II contests is set for 4:30 p.m.
Score by Innings...
DEL (6-2) 0 1 0 4 1 1 0 - 7
HON (3-4) 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 - 2