NEPA Sports Nation

Patriots halt Hazleton Area streak

Pictured above: Drew DeLucca jumps in the air to celebrate his game-winning hit as teammates close in around him.

Drew DeLucca grounded a two-out, two-strike single through the left side in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday, breaking a scoreless tie and Hazleton Area’s 42-game Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 baseball winning streak by lifting host Pittston Area to a 1-0 victory.

Hazleton Area had won 49 straight games within District 2 since losing, 9-5, to Berwick in a WVC Division 1 game April 30, 2019.

Pittston Area used the win to close to within a half-game of the three-time defending champions and keep Hazleton Area from clinching at least a tie for first place in the division.

The Cougars are 10-1 with three games remaining while the Patriots are 10-2 with two division games left.

Freshman Elijah Barr, who escaped runners at the corners in the top of the first inning, and Anthony Cencetti combined on a two-hitter for Pittston Area.

Barr struck out six and did not walk a batter. When he reached his pitch limit, Cencetti came on to get the final two outs with a runner on third base following Pittston Area errors.

Anthony Ranieli began the bottom of the seventh by reaching base on a third strike that got away.

Ranieli took second on a Nick Cerasaro sacrifice bunt and moved to third on a Cencetti groundout.

Hazleton Area chose to walk Jeremy Cawley to face DeLucca.

DeLucca ended the game by handling an 0-2 pitch and sending it between third base and shortstop.

The hit was DeLucca’s second and just Pittston Area’s fourth of the game.

Barr had a triple in the second inning, but the Patriots could not score with the bases loaded.

Troy Davis had the other hit.

Richie Rossi’s double was the only Hazleton Area hit after Grant Russo led off the game with a single.

Texas A&M commit Brett Antolick, who had not allowed a hit in his previous two starts, struck out seven in four scoreless innings for Hazleton Area. He allowed two hits and walked three.

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