Back Mountain Junior, Tunkhannock Senior teams eliminated from American Legion Baseball playoffs

By Tom Robinson - For Dallas Post

Back Mountain won one game in the Wyoming Valley American Legion Baseball Junior League playoffs before having its season come to an end.

By finishing 12-8, Back Mountain tied for third in the nine-team league and landed a spot in the four-team playoff to see who would join Swoyersville in the Region 5 Tournament.

Justin Finarelli’s three-hit shutout allowed Back Mountain to get through the July 14 tournament opener with a 1-0 victory over Plains.

Back Mountain was eliminated with losses the next two days: 9-4 to Stars & Stripes from Hazleton and 9-5 in a rematch with Plains, which went on to win the playoff.

The tournament opener was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when Back Mountain manufactured the game’s only run. Sam Nocito walked, moved up on a Jake Connolly sacrifice and eventually scored on a Darren Kerdesky sacrifice fly.

Kerdesky was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI while Finarelli had a two-run double in the loss to Stars & Stripes.

Justin James drove in the other run.

James had a two-run double in the July 16 loss to Plains and later scored the team’s final run on a Patrick Zarola RBI single.

Freddie Lombardo led off the bottom of the first with a single and scored on a Kerdesky single.

Finarelli and Nick Kachur walked to start the bottom of the second and scored on the James double.

Junior recap

Finarelli threw a no-hitter for Back Mountain early in the season.

Tunkhannock’s David Baltrusaitis threw a no-hitter in his last start of the season to beat Wilkes-Barre, 11-0.

Tunkhannock finished 5-15.

Region 5 senior tournament

Tunkhannock suffered losses July 16-17 at Connell Park in Scranton, making it one of the first two teams eliminated from the eight-team Region 5 Senior Tournament.

Line Mountain defeated Tunkhannock, 15-9, in the opener round. Bloomsburg provided the elimination the next morning by beating Tunkhannock, 8-6.

Tunkhannock had late leads in both games.

Line Mountain used an eight-run top of the sixth to erase a 5-3 Tunkhannock lead.

The teams combined for 35 hits, including 13 for extra bases.

Connor Hulslander, who was 3-for-3, and Matthew Goodwin each had three hits, including a double.

Cody Brown doubled twice, scored twice and drove in two runs. Brian Muckin homered and drove in two runs. Lane Ceccarelli had a double and single.

Bloomsburg opened the scoring with a four-run top of the fourth.

Tunkhannock moved in front, 6-5, with five runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Bloomsburg came right back with three runs in the top of the eighth.

Bobby Gilpin and Muckin each drove in two runs for Tunkhannock.

Senior recap

Back Mountain Senior manager Leo Orlandini is hoping to add more high school players to the roster in the future after his team finished last in the Wyoming Valley League with a 1-17 record.

Orlandini said he had just two starters from the Dallas and Lake-Lehman high school teams this season and that the team came up short on pitching.

Back Mountain got its only win, 4-3, over Plains behind a complete game by Henry Selingo, who recently completed his sophomore season at Lake-Lehman. Josh Orlandini, J.D. Barrett and Christo Huntington each had multiple hits in the game.

Josh Orlandini and Barrett were the top hitters throughout the season.

Orlandini said young players Huntington, Josh Holdredge, Drew Paddon, Josh Lydon and Michael Carravagio all received plenty of playing time that could prove helpful in the future.

By Tom Robinson

For Dallas Post

Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-675-5211 or by email at

Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-675-5211 or by email at

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