Bears capitalize on ESN miscues
bob ford/times news Pleasant Valley's Dan Hrbek fields a ground ball at shortstop during the Bears game against East Stroudsburg North.
East Stroudsburg North kept making mistakes, so Pleasant Valley kept capitalizing off of them.
Although the Bears' baseball team recorded just four hits in their Mountain Valley Conference opener with the Timbewolves, they were able to score 12 runs thanks in large part to nine free-passes and five errors by the opposition. In the end it was Pleasant Valley walking away with the 12-1 five-inning win.
"I am happy we were aggressive on the bases," said Pleasant Valley manager Charlie Inserra. "I don't see us scoring 15 runs a game so we need to make the most of our opportunities. We want to run as much as possible, put the ball in play and make the other team make as many plays as possible. So we did that today.
"Yes I would like to have more than four or five hits, but we took what they gave us and played as aggressively as possible."
After Pleasant Valley starter Dylan Pasnak retired North in order to start the game, his offense quickly gave him some run support. Dan Hrbek singled in Connor Cardenas with two outs to get the locals on the board. James Shank then reached on an error that in turn allowed Hrbek to score. Another error one batter later plated Shank to make it 3-0 after one.
The Bears picked up five more runs on just one hit over the next two innings. The two runs in the second would score on a double-pickle and a fielder's choice. North then loaded the bases on two walks and a hit-batsmen in the third before Nick Domenici delivered with a two-run single down the right field line. Cardenas knocked in the third run on a groundout.
All the while Pasnak was doing this thing on the mound. He retired ten of the first 11 batters he faced with the only blemish being a walk with two outs in the second. He allowed two hits in the fourth, but the run scored against him was unearned due to an error by his second baseman.
Pasnak finished the day with three strikeouts as he picked up the win.
"He did a real good job," said Inserra. "We told him before the game that his goal was to throw as many strikes as possible. In this weather it is not easy to hit. When you pound the strike zone you make it tough on hitters. That was his goal and he did a real nice job of that today."
Pleasant Valley put the game away in the bottom of the fourth when it scored four more runs. Travis VanHouten (double), Domenici and Cardenas (triple) each drove in runs to enact the ten-run rule.
Chris Burke relieved Pasnak in the fifth and allowed a two-out single before striking out North's Winston Folkes to end the game.
Pleasant Valley improves to 4-1 (1-0) with the victory. Whereas the Bears dropped a few early games last season and were fighting up-hill the rest of the way, Inserra is much happier with his team's fast start this time around.
"There are three things we look to do," Inserra said. "Throw a lot of strikes, make the routine plays, and put the ball in play. We did all three of those things today so from that perspective I am happy.
"It has been a good start for us. Traditionally our first four or five games are out of conference and they can be pretty challenging. I was happy to be 3-1 coming into this week. That is about as good of a start that I could ask for."
ES North 000 10 - 1 3 5
Pleasant Vy. 323 4x - 12 4 1
Andino, D. Quiles (3) and D. Quiles, Andino (3); Pasnak, Burke (5) and Shank, Mejia (5). W - Pasnak, L - Andino.