STANHOPE, NJ - Early on, it appeared Delaware Valley’s long bus ride to Sussex County for an extra early, 10 a.m. matinee H/W/S Tri-County Tournament at Lenape Valley, had a negative effect.
Unfortunately for the hometown Patriots, it only lasted one inning.
After surrendering two earned runs in the bottom half of the first, the visiting Terriers scored seven runs in the middle innings and was able to put away a late Lenape rally to secure a 9-6 victory in the H/W/S Round of 16. With the victory, the Frenchtowners of Marty White have advanced to next Saturday’s quarterfinal round.
The Terriers were able to push across two quick runs off of Patriots starter Mike Deerfield (L-2-1). After Reed Williams reached base on a fielder’s choice, stole second, and scored when Scott Skripko singled him in one batter later. Two batters later, Del Val first baseman Ryan Hann singled in Skripko.
Lenape Valley (5-7) plated two runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame. Bryan Falato led off with an infield single, and came around to score two batters later when following a Pat Togno base hit, a Terriers throwing error landed in left field, cutting the lead in half, 2-1. Kenny Costa laced a liner into center field to score Togno and squaring the game at two.
But in the third, Deerfield appeared to lose a degree of accuracy on the mound. After Williams reached on an error, the senior right hander recovered brilliantly, grounding out Skripko and striking out Joe Chiarino. But he then surrendered four straight walks, including walking in a batter and another scoring on a passed ball.
“Of course, I wanted to go out there, throw strikes, and give us a chance to win. It just didn’t happen for me in that inning,” commented Deerfield following the game.
Lenape allowed a third and final run to score in that third inning, this one a most frustrating tally. Jimmy Fluke struck out Mike Pilone swinging, but a passed ball allowed Pilone to reach first base and the Del Val runner to score.
The next inning proved to be just as treacherous for the Patriots. Following Williams reaching on an error, Skripko blasted a pitch off the left center field fence, doubling in his second RBI on the day. Anthony Basciano came into pitch for Lenape Valley next, and although allowing Nick Perna to drive in an inherited run, was able to retire the side.
On the other side of the score line, Skripko breezed through his four remaining innings following the two unearned runs in the first, scattering three hits and a walk.
“I got a few bad hops in the first (inning), but we all were able to piece some hits together and score some runs,” noted Skripko (W, 1-1) after the game.
The later innings were played with Del Val (5-8) enjoying a comfortable 9-2 lead, but Lenape Valley had one last rally up their sleeve in the bottom half of the seventh. Rob Sparacino and Costa doubled and singled respectively, allowing Danny Rafferty to knock in the third run.
Substitute Tyler Rogers doubled into the left center field gap, and all of a sudden the lead was cut to 9-6. But the visitors’ Logan Brown got John Leyden to ground out (although for an RBI and the sixth and final run.) After Fluke reached on an error, the Patriot comeback attempt was abruptly ended David Kain struck out looking.
The box score:
Delaware Valley (5-8): 2 0 3 4 0 0 0- 9 9 3
Lenape Valley (5-7): 2 0 0 0 0 0 4- 6 11 2
Runs Scored: Delaware Valley 9 (Reed Williams 3, Chris Pilone 2, Scott Skripko 2, Joe Chiarino, Ryan Hann.) Lenape Valley 6 (Kenny Costa, Bryan Falato, Danny Rafferty, Tyler Rogers, Rob Sparacino, Pat Togno.)
Winning Pitcher: Scott Scripko (1-1) Losing Pitcher: Mike Deerfield (2-1)
Time of Game: 2 hours, 47 minutes.
Follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County News and information, as well as news and information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County's Facebook Page.