Defense dooms Lackawanna Trail in loss to Forest City in high school baseball action


By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com



Lackawanna Trail’s Nathan Rolka throws a pitch during the Lions, 11-2, loss to Forest City in a Lackawanna League Division 4 baseball game on Monday, April 25 in Factoryville.


Alice Stuffle photos | For Abington Journal

Lackawanna Trail left fielder Thomas Huffsmith runs to second base during the Lions, 11-2, loss to Forest City on Monday, April 25 in Factoryville.


Alice Stuffle photos | For Abington Journal

FACTORYVILLE — Forest City scored eight unanswered runs to defeat Lackawanna Trail, 11-2, in a Lackawanna League Division 4 baseball game on Monday, April 25.

Forest City pitcher R.J. Kuruts led off the game with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the first run of the game on a passed ball.

Lackawanna Trail answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning. Center fielder Tyler Baltrusaitis led off with a single, stole second base, and scored on a ground out from third baseman Nick Rolka.

Forest City (3-3, 3-2 Division 4) added another run in the top of the second when second baseman Tyler Clift led off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.

“We’re feeling some growing pains,” Lackawanna Trail head coach Todd Peters said. “We lost a lot of experienced guys from last year’s team. We have guys in new positions, but we need to start getting better. We practice hard every day, we just have to stay patient and hope at some point it really starts paying off.”

Forest City took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third. Shortstop Kyle Shema singled and stole second base to lead off the inning. The next batter, catcher Dylan O’Dell, drove him in with an RBI single.

Lackawanna Trail (2-5, 2-3 Div. 4) cut the deficit to one run in the bottom of the third. Left fielder Thomas Huffsmith reached on an error and stole second base before Nick Rolka drove an RBI double into the left-center field gap.

“He’s our only senior and that maturity is coming through at the plate,” Peters said of Nick Rolka. “We have a couple guys who are swinging the bats OK. We’re scoring some runs, we just need to start playing the defensive side of the game. We knew that was going to be a struggle at times this year, we’re just going to keep working through it.”

Clift walked with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning to drive in a run. Then, three runs scored on a double from center fielder Adam Kowalewski.

Third baseman Dakota Knehr-Cook drove in two runs with a single in the top of the sixth inning to stretch the Foresters lead to 9-2.

Kuruts drove in a run with a double and scored on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh.

Lackawanna Trail starting pitcher Nathan Rolka allowed six hits and two earned runs over 4 1/3 innings of work. D.J. Klinges struck out two batters in the fifth inning and Baltrusaitis allowed two hits over the final two innings in relief.

“Our pitchers have been doing a good job all year, but we have to start helping them out a little bit (defensively) and not hanging them out there on the mound as long,” Peters said.

Kuruts allowed six hits and one earned runs while striking out five batters to earn the complete game win.

Baltrusaitis led the Lions with two hits.

Lackawanna Trail will host Susquehanna at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2 in a Lackawanna League Division 4 game.

Lackawanna Trail’s Nathan Rolka throws a pitch during the Lions, 11-2, loss to Forest City in a Lackawanna League Division 4 baseball game on Monday, April 25 in Factoryville.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_ABJ-LT-Baseball-Nate-Rolka-1.jpgLackawanna Trail’s Nathan Rolka throws a pitch during the Lions, 11-2, loss to Forest City in a Lackawanna League Division 4 baseball game on Monday, April 25 in Factoryville. Alice Stuffle photos | For Abington Journal

Lackawanna Trail left fielder Thomas Huffsmith runs to second base during the Lions, 11-2, loss to Forest City on Monday, April 25 in Factoryville.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_ABJ-LT-Baseball-Huffsmith-1.jpgLackawanna Trail left fielder Thomas Huffsmith runs to second base during the Lions, 11-2, loss to Forest City on Monday, April 25 in Factoryville. Alice Stuffle photos | For Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

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