The Pleasant Valley baseball team didn't muster many hits Monday afternoon.
Fortunately for the Bears, they were given a lot of free passes.
Although Pleasant Valley had just four hits in six innings, three East Stroudsburg South pitchers combined to walk ten batters and hit two others in the same stretch. Six of those runners would eventually come around to score as the Bears topped the Cavaliers, 8-4 in Mountain Valley Conference play.
Pleasant Valley head coach Karl Rentzheimer was happy that his team came away with the win, but wasn't overly pleased with its performance at the plate.
"In all fairness, when you know a guy is around the plate you have to be a little more in tune," said Rentzheimer. "When you have guys throwing the ball all over the place, suddenly you aren't as settled in with a 3-1 count because he hasn't been throwing strikes. You don't know if he is going to throw a strike and then maybe you aren't mentally prepared to hit. I don't know."
Only two of the Bears' eight runs were produced by a batter actually making contact with the ball. Travis Raseley hit a sacrifice fly to center in the first to drive in Pleasant Valley's initial run. Drew Borger then singled in a run in the second. The other six either scored on a walk, hit by pitch, wild pitch or error.
Four different batters had a hit for Pleasant Valley. Jake Chamberlain and Borger each had a single, while Joe Wiesmeth and Raseley each recorded doubles.
Meanwhile, the Bears' opening battery consisted of two first-timers. Starting pitcher Russell Baldino, along with Wiesmeth, made their first varsity starts and faired pretty well. Baldino surrendered four runs (two earned) on six hits en route to earning the victory. Wiesmeth had a walk to go along with his double and scored two runs as well.
When Baldino got into some trouble early in the fourth, it was another underclassman who came to his aid. With the Bears clinging to a 5-4 lead, sophomore John Guadagna relieved Baldino with a man on and immediately picked him off of first. He then got the next two batters to strike out and fly out respectively to end the inning.
Guadagna, who had just one inning under his belt coming into the game, went on to finish the game and picked up the save. He allowed only three men to reach base (two walks and a single) in three-and-two-thirds innings of work.
"John came in and did a nice job for those three or four innings that he pitched," said Rentzheimer. "He did everything I could have asked for. He threw a lot of ground balls. He did well."
The Bears improve to 5-1 (2-0) with the win. This year's team has a heavy blend of seniors and underclassmen and has been doing very well together thus far.
"I haven't had any trouble with this group what-so-ever," said Rentzheimer. "There have been no distractions. Everyone gets along with each other really well. Chris D'Arcy, one of our seniors, has been doing a great job of being a leader. He gets the guys going every day."
ES South 201 100 0 - 4 7 1
Pleasant Vy 212 003 x - 8 4 2
Frederick, Walters (3), Alicea (6) and Grober; Baldino, Guadagna (4) and Wiesmeth, D'Arcy (5). W - Baldino, L - Frederick, S - Guadagna. HR: None.