PHOTO: Old Forge’s Sean Donovan.
Sean Donovan’s pitching and hitting helped make the Old Forge baseball team stand out Tuesday.
Donovan was the winning pitcher and went 4-for-4 as the Blue Devils visited Lackawanna Trail and came home with a 5-2 victory over the Lackawanna League Division 4 baseball champions in a District 2 Class A quarterfinal.
There were 25 baseball, softball, lacrosse or volleyball district or subregional events involving District 2 teams Tuesday.
Old Forge was the only lower-seeded team to win. The other 24 events were won by higher-seeded teams, all of which made the most of the advantage of playing at home.
The result, however, should not be regarded as a surprise given Old Forge’s history of postseason success in baseball, softball and boys and girls basketball after spending its regular seasons competing against nothing but larger schools in divisional play.
Old Forge won its seventh district baseball title in 13 years in 2019 when it was competing in Class A. The school’s boys basketball team is coming off a trip to the state Class 2A semifinals following a losing regular season.
Donovan got the baseball postseason off to a strong start for the seventh-seeded Blue Devils against the second-seeded Lions.
After Kyle Austin drove in Ray Melnikoff for the game’s first run, Donovan began a trend of working out of trouble and did not allow another score through six innings.
The Blue Devils tied the game in the fourth, the scored two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings.
Joe Granko’s single put Old Forge ahead for good in the sixth inning.
Donovan scored one of his two runs as part of an offensive day that also included a double and two RBI.
Sophomore Ryan Kissolovege took over during the bottom of the seventh after Donovan exhausted his pitch count. He allowed an inherited runner to score, but no more while giving up one hit and getting the final three outs for the save.
Donovan allowed eight hits, two walks and two runs while striking out eight in six-plus innings.
Michael DiGregorio and Nico Killino each had a run and hit scored for the Blue Devils. Donovan was the only player with an extra-base hit and the only one with more than one run, hit or RBI.
Lackawanna Trail finished 10-4 with the last two losses coming in succession to Old Forge (8-11). Donovan was also the winning pitcher in the regular-season finale which the Blue Devils won 2-0 May 19.
In other Class 2A quarterfinals: Riverside defeated Holy Cross, 5-2; Northwest edged Mountain View, 3-2; and Elk Lake nipped Blue Ridge, 5-4.
Jason Janesko went 3-for-4 with a double and scored twice to help top-seeded Riverside remain unbeaten.
Janesko leads the Lackawanna Division 3 champions in batting average (.542), run scored (26 in 19 games) and doubles (8).
The Vikings led just 1-0 before scoring four times in the bottom of the fifth.
J.P. Santarsiero and Zach Day combined on a two-hitter. Santarsiero struck out 10 while allowing just one earned run in six innings. Day pitched a hitless, scoreless seventh, striking out two and issuing one walk.
Day also doubled and drove in two runs.
Charles Azarsky had two hits.
Matt Hassaj had one of the two hits and the only RBI for Holy Cross.
Riverside will host Northwest in Thursday’s semifinals.
Joey Noss went the distance on the mound for Northwest.
Old Forge goes to Elk Lake in the other semifinal.
Elk Lake has won seven of its last eight since falling to 4-6 by losing consecutive games for the third time this season.
Hunter Lawall threw a four-hit shutout to lead Wyoming Area to a 10-0, six-inning victory over Hanover Area in a District 2 Class 4A quarterfinals.
Lawall walked three and struck out nine. He also went 2-for-3 with a home run, double and two RBI.
Jake Kelleher was 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBI. Jason Wiedl doubled and drove in two runs.
Wyoming Area scored seven runs in the fifth, then the last two it needed to end the game on the 10-run rule in the sixth inning.
The Warriors will play Thursday at 2:30 at Valley View, which defeated Berwick, 10-3.
Berwick scored three times in the top of the first, but Valley View came back with four in the bottom of the inning, then expanded its lead from there.
Zach Kovalchik led the Cougars, going 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBI.
Ryan Cesarini had a double and single. Tim St. Ledger had two hits and scored twice.
Winning pitcher Ian Reese had a double, a run and an RBI.
In the other half of the bracket, Honesdale defeated Tunkhannock, 8-1, to advance to the semifinal at Dallas, which, as the top seed, received the bracket’s only bye.
Zach Branning and Trent Gombita each had three hits and two RBI for Honesdale.
Branning was 3-for-3 with two doubles and scored twice.
Joseph Curreri worked through seven walks to get all but one out in a combined two-hitter with Peter Modrovsky.
Williamsport came from six runs down to defeat Scranton, 11-10, in a District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional quarterfinal.
Owen Berry went 3-for-4 with three RBI and picked up the win in relief.