Wallenpaupack Area Little Leaguers have sights set on state tourney

Battling its way through pool play, Wallenpaupack’s 9-11 All-Star team blasted its way to a 14-4 victory in a home game Monday, against Carbondale.

The lopsided win put the Purple and White at 1-1 after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to North Scranton on July 1.

Early Setback

Paupack trailed 2-0 versus North after the first inning and things remained that way until the top of the fifth.

Jordan Santiago singled on a 3-0 pitch then moved to second on an error put in play by Landon Calabrese.

A basehit by Brady Reynolds then loaded the bags with one out. Kevin McCue laced a line drive to right field, legged it out for a double, and sent Santiago and Calabrese across the plate to tie the game 2-2.

Despite the defensive efforts of Paupack, which included a double play by Jake Holbert in the bottom of the sixth, North took back-to-back walks then squeezed out a double that gave them a 3-2 walk off win.

Grant Tonkin and Ethan Bierle each had two hits for Wallenpaupack while Landon Calabrese, Gannon Decker, Jordan Santiago, and Brady Reynolds each tallied one.

Eli Peifer pitched four innings, striking out three before Holbert came in to finish.

Solid Bounce Back

The Purple and White got things rolling early when they hosted Carbondale.

The visitors gave up a walk, a single, and another walk to lead-off the bottom of the first. That brought up Santiago, who made it to first and scored Decker. Peifer followed with a single that drove in Tonkin and Holbert.

A single by Bierle brought in Santiago but a fielder’s choice by Aiden Pierson stopped his advance but scored Peifer.

Another walk loaded the bags for Decker, who sacrificed to bring in Calabrese.

A single by Tonkin plated Pierson, but going for third, Gannon was tagged out, thus ending a fantastic first inning for Paupack, who now held a 7-0 lead.

Tonkin and Holbert combined for a double-play to end Carbondale’s chances in the top of the second. A wild pitch in the bottom of the frame allowed Santiago to score and a single by Calabrese scored Peifer, making it a 9-0 game.

Carbondale scored all four of its runs in the top of the third. From then on out it was Paupack’s night.

McCue, Reynolds, and Decker all scored early in the bottom of the fourth.

With one out and the game ending runs on base, Calabrese singled on a 1-1 pitch to right field. As he went for second on the throw, Holbert and Santiago scored to make it 14-4, halting the game immediately and earning Paupack a win.

Tonkin pitched 2.2 innings and sent six down on strikes. Calabrese came in to close and put away three batters.

Tonkin had three hits Santiago three runs and a double. Calabrese had a trio of RBIs while Peifer and Decker drove in two each. Earning one RBI apiece was Bierle, Holbert, Pierson, Reynolds, Santiago, and Tonkin.

Over & Out

Pool play wraps up July 7 following Paupack’s bouts with Carbino and Green Ridge.

Following that, the best four teams in the seven-team line-up move on to the double elimination playoffs that commence on July 11.

“This is a great group of kids that come from good baseball families,” said Paupack manager Ray Tonkin. “Overall, they’re good ball players and great to be around.”

Following the big win against Carbondale, the skipper had a hard time singling out any of his players as a peak performer.

“Everybody’s doing good and helping out,” Tonkin said in closing.