SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Quality pitching. Timely hitting. Unselfishness.
It all added up to a win for seventh-seeded Abington Heights.
The Comets scored two runs in the fourth and sixth innings and defeated Honesdale, 5-1, in the first round of the District 2 Class 3A baseball playoffs Friday, May 20.
Abington Heights left fielder Anthony Duboski led off the bottom of the second inning with a double and came around to score when third baseman Sam Arnold smashed a double over the head of Hornets center fielder Tom Minella.
“It was really important to get a big hit in that situation,” Arnold said. “I was just looking for pitches to hit and they threw me strikes. I was sitting on the fastball during my first two at-bats and I was seeing the ball well.”
Tenth-seeded Honesdale (5-10) threatened to score in the top of the third as the Hornets had runners on first and third with one out. Comets pitcher Nick Termini used quick reflexes to record the second out on a hard hit ball back to the mound and center fielder Colin McCreary made a sliding catch to end the inning with the bases loaded.
“I know when I get into a jam, I always have my team to back me up,” Termini said. “I always have faith in my infielders and outfielders, nobody works harder than them.”
The Hornets tied the game in the top of fourth on an RBI single from left fielder Nate Frigoletto. Right fielder Tim Minella followed with a single and second baseman David Curreri walked to load the bases with one out, but Termini worked out trouble by striking out leadoff hitter Anthony Dell’Aquila and inducing a ground ball out from pitcher Spencer Goyette.
Abington Heights head coach Bill Zalewski was impressed with Termini’s poise in tough situations.
“He threw great on the mound, I couldn’t ask for anything more out of a sophomore,” Zalewski said.
The Comets answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning. Arnold drove in Duboski with a single and right fielder Luke Fayocavitz laid down a bunt, scoring designated hitter Nick Carlini who dashed home from third base on a suicide squeeze play.
Abington Heights (7-8) added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Carlini lined a double past Hornets third baseman Julio Galarza, scoring Duboski and McCreary.
Seven of the nine Abington Heights’ batters reached base at least once and Carlini believes that balance in the lineup played a big role in the win.
“We want everyone participating, getting hits and moving guys over,” Carlini said. “I feel like early in the season we took things for granted a little bit, but we’ve learned and matured as a team.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.