GPA starter Nick Innamorati throws a pitch in the Section 5 Little League major baseball winners bracket finals Sunday at Back Mountain Little League.
                                 Fred Adams | For Times Leader

GPA starter Nick Innamorati throws a pitch in the Section 5 Little League major baseball winners bracket finals Sunday at Back Mountain Little League.

Fred Adams | For Times Leader

<p>GPA catcher Jacoby Harnen watches pitcher Nick Innamorati make the catch on a pop in the second inning Sunday.</p>
                                 <p>Fred Adams | For Times Leader</p>

GPA catcher Jacoby Harnen watches pitcher Nick Innamorati make the catch on a pop in the second inning Sunday.

Fred Adams | For Times Leader

<p>Back Mountain National catcher Jimmy Youngblood gets under a foul ball hit by GPA’s Nick Innamorati in the second inning Sunday.</p>
                                 <p>Fred Adams | For Times Leader</p>

Back Mountain National catcher Jimmy Youngblood gets under a foul ball hit by GPA’s Nick Innamorati in the second inning Sunday.

Fred Adams | For Times Leader

<p>GPA second baseman Max Gordon makes a throw to first as Back Mountain National’s Chris Flanagan advances to third base in the third inning Sunday.</p>
                                 <p>Fred Adams | For Times Leader</p>

GPA second baseman Max Gordon makes a throw to first as Back Mountain National’s Chris Flanagan advances to third base in the third inning Sunday.

Fred Adams | For Times Leader

<p>Back Mountain National shortstop Bobby Gallagher catches a pop-up for an out in the third inning.</p>
                                 <p>Fred Adams | For Times Leader</p>

Back Mountain National shortstop Bobby Gallagher catches a pop-up for an out in the third inning.

Fred Adams | For Times Leader

<p>Ethan Aftewicz is greeted by his GPA teammates after hitting a two-run homer in the fourth inning of Sunday’s Section 5 Little League major baseball winners bracket final. Aftewicz hit a three-run homer in the fifth and finished with seven RBI.</p>
                                 <p>Fred Adams | For Times Leader</p>

Ethan Aftewicz is greeted by his GPA teammates after hitting a two-run homer in the fourth inning of Sunday’s Section 5 Little League major baseball winners bracket final. Aftewicz hit a three-run homer in the fifth and finished with seven RBI.

Fred Adams | For Times Leader

DALLAS — Ethan Aftewicz started the power display for Greater Pittston Area on Sunday evening and also ended it.

The final result was a 12-1 win in five innings over Back Mountain National in the Section 5 Little League major baseball winners bracket finals at Back Mountain Little League.

The victory gives GPA two chances on Tuesday to win the Section 5 crown and a spot in the state playoffs. GPA’s opponent will be determined starting at 7:30 p.m. Monday when BMN plays Abington in the elimination bracket final.

The BMN-Abington winner plays GPA at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. If GPA loses, then another game will be played after the first game. All those games are at the Back Mountain Little League.

“What I like is all of our pitchers are eligible moving forward,” BMN manager Bob Osipower said. “We got to get through tomorrow, obviously, to get another shot at these guys. When we come back, we’d have our No. 1 and 2 to throw against them next time we see them.

“Not looking ahead, obviously, but we have all our pitchers available in the tournament still.”

GPA led 4-1 going into the bottom of the fourth when Aftewicz hit a two-run homer to center. Gavin Wardecki and Jacoby Harnen followed with solo shots. The three consecutive homers boosted the lead to 8-1. Then after Kellen Kroski hit an RBI single in the fifth, Aftewicz ended the game with a three-run homer to center. He finished 4-for-4 with seven RBI and three runs scored.

“The ironic thing about Ethan is he’s even a better wrestler than he is a baseball player,” GPA manager Joe Rusincovitch said. “He’s an outstanding athlete. His bat has been coming alive lately and he’s just dialed in and focused.”

GPA had with 14 hits — including four homers and four doubles — and didn’t strike out. First-inning doubles by Kroski, Aftewicz and Colin Rusincovitch led to two runs. Aftewicz singled in another in the second and an error allowed Harnen to score in the third.

As important as the hitting was for GPA, so was the pitching strategy which worked as planned. Starter Nick Innamorati and relievers Aftewicz and Kroski all kept their pitch counts within parameters to allow them to throw on Tuesday.

“You got to roll the dice a little bit here and there with your pitching,” Rusincovitch said. “We had a plan going in where usually 105 pitches gets you out of a game. We got a little high on some of our pitch counts, but the plan was to have our top-three pitcher pitch 35 apiece with the hope you win today and tomorrow you get a circuit breaker where we don’t play and all our pitching resets.”

BMN scored its only run in the third. Chris Flanagan doubled to start the inning. He moved to third on Kevin Osipower’s groundout and scored on a wild pitch/ball four to his twin brother Pat.

In the elimination game earlier in the day, Abington rallied from six runs down to defeat Lakeland 11-6. Abington scored six runs in the fifth and five in the sixth.

Section 5 Major Baseball

Greater Pittston Area 12, Back Mountain National 1 ( 5 inn.)

BMN`AB`R`H`BI

C.Flanagan cf`3`1`1`0

Osipower 2b`3`0`2`0

P.Flanagan 1b`2`0`1`0

Johns rf`1`0`0`0

Chapman ph`2`0`0`0

Ecenrode lf`2`0`1`0

Bednar p`1`0`0`0

Wielgosz p`1`0`0`0

Youngblood c`1`0`0`0

Aten 3b`1`0`0`0

English ph`1`0`1`0

Gallagher ss`1`0`0`0

Slavinski ph`1`0`0`0

Totals`20`1`6`0

GPA`AB`R`H`BI

Innamorati p`3`2`1`0

Kroski 3b`4`2`3`1

Aftewicz ss`4`3`4`7

Wardecki 1b`3`1`1`1

Harnen c`2`2`2`1

Rusincovitch rf`1`0`1`1

Opiela ph`2`0`0`0

Jadus cf`2`0`0`0

Scagliotti ph`1`0`0`0

Tonte lf`1`1`1`0

Rosencrance ph`2`1`1`0

Gordon 2b`2`0`0`0

Schardien ph`1`0`0`0

Totals`17`12`14`11

BMN`001`00 — 1

GPA`211`44 — 12

2B — Osipower, Kroski, Aftewicz, Rusincovitch, Rosencrance. HR — Aftewicz 2, Wardecki, Harnen.

BMN`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Bednar (L)`1.2`5`3`3`1`0

P.Flanagan`1.2`3`3`2`1`0

Aten`0.2`2`2`2`0`0

Wielgosz`0.1`4`4`4`0`0

GPA`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Innamorati`1.2`2`0`0`1`4

Aftewicz (W)`2.0`2`1`1`1`3

Kroski`1.1`2`0`0`0`3