H.S. Baseball: Pittston Area blasts Abington Heights in five innings in 5A semifinals

May 25—CLARKS SUMMIT — It was just the third game back for Pittston Area designated hitter Chase Montigney, sidelined for most of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

It didn't take long for him to showcase how much of a game-changer he could be for the Patriots.

Montigney crushed a first-inning grand slam out to left-center field as the Patriots scored five runs in the opening frame on their way to a 10-0 win in five innings over Abington Heights on Thursday.

"It's a great feeling," Montigney said. "My coaches and teammates believed in me, helped me get back. ... Now we've got one more game to win."

The win lands Pittston Area a trip to PNC Field on Tuesday, where the Patriots will take on Selinsgrove for the District 2/4 Class 5A subregional championship.

Hitting out of the seventh spot in the order, Montigney got his chance right away on Thursday, with the bases loaded and a 1-0 Patriots lead.

Montigney picked out the second pitch he saw and launched it into orbit.

"I knew I had to attack with the bases loaded," Montigney said. "I just got my fastball."

A wave of two-out production from the guys in front of him made Montigney's grand slam possible; after Abington Heights pitcher Nick Bradley retired the first two batters, the middle of the order guys for Pittston Area got to work.

Silvio Giardina drew a walk, followed by an Elijah Barr single. Jake Aftewicz drove in Giardina with a base hit up the middle, and Beau Widdick drew one of the Patriots' seven team walks to load the bases for Montigney.

The Patriots would tack on two more runs in the third inning on a Drew DeLucca single — again coming with two outs.

"It's something we preach all the time, we can't go down in order," Pittston Area coach Paul Zaffuto said. "Even if we don't score a run, we've got to extend the inning...that's what our guys practice every day, and they executed it well."

Pittston Area was able to push the game into mercy rule territory with three more runs in the fourth to make it a 10-0 game. In the middle of it again was Montigney, this time drawing a bases-loaded walk to pick up his fifth RBI of the afternoon.

The big first inning seemed to shellshock Abington Heights a bit, and facing Giardina on the mound didn't help matters, either.

Giardina allowed just one hit and two walks over five scoreless innings, getting stronger as the game went on. Abington Heights got a runner to third base in the first inning, Giardina left him stranded there, and the Comets never got another man into scoring position.

Jake Lenahan had the lone hit of the day for Abington Heights, a fourth-inning single into center field that was very nearly caught on the dive by DeLucca.

Pittston Area will face Selinsgrove in the title game, the top seed in the District 2/4 Class 5A field, after the Seals beat Wallenpaupack 10-3 on Friday.

The Class 5A championship is set for a 6 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday at PNC Field.

District 2/4 Class 5A Semifinals

Pittston Area 10, Abington Heights 0 (5 inn.)

Pittston Area'AB'R'H'BI

Delucca cf'3'0'1'2

D. Innamorati lf'4'0'0'0

Giardina p'1'2'0'0

Barr 1b'2'2'1'0

Aftewicz c'3'2'1'1

Widdick ss'2'0'0'0

Montigny dh'2'2'2'5

Tonte 3b'1'1'1'1

Mead rf'3'0'0'1


Abington Heights'AB'R'H'BI

Pentasuglio rf'2'0'0'0

Nazar 3b'1'0'0'0

Bradley p'2'0'0'0

Lenahan dh'2'0'1'0

LaCoe cf'2'0'0'0

Anderson 2b'2'0'0'0

Zalewski ss-p'2'0'0'0

Patel 1b'0'0'0'0

Nealon ph'1'0'0'0

Gonzalez lf'2'0'0'0


Pittston Area'502'30 — 10

Abington Heights'000'00 — 0

HR — Montigney.

Pittston Area'IP'H'R'ER'BB'SO

Giardina (W)'5'1'0'0'2'3

Abington Heights'IP'H'R'ER'BB'SO

Bradley (L)'3'5'7'7'5'2