Kellogg Stokes North Scranton’s Power Surge
SCRANTON — Win, and North Scranton would force a deciding game for the title. Lose, and they would watch Green Ridge celebrate the championship. “We were feeling some pressure, because they usually beat us,” North Scranton starting pitcher Brian Kellogg said. That wasn’t the case Sunday, however. Kellogg cranked two of his team’s four home runs and allowed three earned runs in 5⅓ innings as North Scranton beat host Green Ridge, 7-4, to force a winner-take-all District 32 Little League championship game. “We just came together and we got a win,” Kellogg said. The teams play tonight at 7:30 at North Scranton Little League Complex. It’s the second game of a championship double header: North Pocono and Abington National battle for the District 17 crown at 5:30 p.m. Kellogg started North Scranton’s power surge in the first inning, crushing a line drive over the left-field wall for a two-run shot. Ryan Barber started the second by scorching a ball to center field that hit off the top of the fence and bounced over for a homer, and with two outs, Kellogg’s second two-run homer — hit almost to the exact spot of his first one — gave North Scranton a 5-0 lead. It feels good because you’re ahead of everyone else and you’re just scoring and winning. “Once we hit a home run, a lot of energy’s in the dugout,” Kellogg said. “That keeps us motivated to keep scoring more runs.” After P.J. Murphy singled in a run in the fourth, James Reed added his team’s final home run in the fifth with a towering solo blast out to left-center to stretch the lead to 7-2. “We hit a lot of home runs, but not that many,” Kellogg said. “So, we had a good game today.” Kellogg took the early lead to the mound and worked around Blake Decker’s leadoff single to post a clean first inning. Green Ridge cut into the second. Grace McCormack — who turned in some stellar defensive plays at third base, including a double play to stunt a North Scranton rally in the third inning — singled with one out and Craig Pabst followed with a walk. Daniel Santaniello got Green Ridge on the board with a base hit and Decker cut it to 5-2 with a two-out single. Kellogg cruised after Kyle Rupp led off the third with a base hit. He retired 10 in a row, striking out two. Roman Valvano broke up Kellogg’s run with a double in the sixth and Chase Scanlan followed with another double to trim the lead to 7-3. After a walk, Kellogg’s pitch count forced North Scranton to go to the bullpen. Kellogg allowed three earned runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out three. (The offense) gives you motivation to do better and just try to win,” Kellogg said. Murphy relieved him and struck out the first batter he faced, though a run came across on a wild pitch. After a walk, Murphy got a groundout to send the teams to a do-or-die championship game. Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9125; @RailRidersTT on Twitter North Scranton Green Ridge ab r h bi ab r h bi Levandoski rf 4 1 0 0 Decker ss 3 0 2 1 Snyder ss 4 1 1 0 Rupp 1b 3 0 1 0 Kellogg p 2 2 2 4 Stallman p 3 0 0 0 Williams cf 3 0 1 0 Valvano 2b 3 1 1 0 Saita 2b 1 0 0 0 Scanlan cf 3 1 1 1 Murphy ph 2 0 2 1 GMcCormack 3b 1 1 1 0 George lf 2 0 0 0 Pappas ph 1 0 0 0 Bell ph 1 0 0 0 Pabst lf 1 1 0 0 McNally 3b 3 0 1 0 Gola ph 1 0 0 0 Barber 1b 2 1 1 1 Santaniello rf 1 0 1 1 Ottone ph 1 0 0 0 Haggerty ph 1 0 0 0 Reed c 2 2 1 1 BMcCormack c 2 0 0 0 McDonald ph 1 0 0 0 Totals 27 7 9 7 Totals 24 4 7 3 North Scranton 230 110 — 7 Green Ridge 020 002 — 4 2B: Jimmy Snyder (NS), Roman Valvano (GR), Chase Scanlan (GR). HR: Brian Kellogg 2 (NS), Ryan Barber (NS), James Reed (NS). North Scranton IP H R ER BB SO Kellogg, W 5.1 7 4 3 2 3 Murphy .2 0 0 0 1 1 Green Ridge IP H R ER BB SO Stallman, L 3 6 5 4 1 2 GMcCormack 3 3 2 2 3 3 District 32 9-10-11 Jonathan Greenburg tossed a complete game, allowing three hits and striking out nine, to lead Archbald past North Scranton, 3-1, to force a deciding championship game. The teams play today at Archbald AC Complex at 7:30 p.m. Brayden McConnell and Benny Toczydlowski each had two hits for Archbald. Toczydlowski doubled. Lincoln McIver and Jason Selemba doubled for North Scranton. District 17 9-10-11 Max Forgione struck out 10 in 5⅓ innings to earn the win and lead Dunmore over Abington American, 11-2, in the championship final. Forgione also doubled and tripled. Tommy Clark and Bobby Hoban each had two hits for Dunmore. Hoban doubled. Tate Pentasuglio and Carson Bird had multi-hit games for Abington American. District 32 8-9-10 At Olyphant, Landon Pratt tripled twice and Nick Mills and Matthew Lake each had two doubles as Throop beat Olyphant, 23-3, in an elimination final. Joey Romanosky picked up the win for Throop, which will play at Green Ridge on Tuesday in the championship final at 7:30 p.m. If Throop wins, the teams will play again Wednesday. Jake Bondy and Matthew Repecki each had a base hit for Olyphant. Olyphant reached Sunday’s elimination final by defeating Wallenpaupack, 11-10, on Saturday. Bondy had four hits and drove in five runs. Brett Yanoski also had four hits — including two doubles — and winning pitcher Joey Connolly doubled. District 17 8-9-10 Winning pitcher Nick Bohenek and Jose Sosa each knocked three hits as Moosic defeated Dunmore, 17-7, in the elimination bracket final. Moosic plays Abington American in the championship final Tuesday. If Moosic wins that game, the teams will meet again Wednesday. Bohenek had a triple and Sosa doubled. Jamie Prislupski had two hits, including a double. Mason Steve and Cody Gierulski each had two hits for Dunmore.