The Back Mountain Prep team reached the Wyoming Valley American Legion Baseball League championship series before being swept in three games by Stripes & Strikes from Hazleton.
Back Mountain manager Bob Klinetob said prior to the championship series that summer vacations and other commitments that were shortening the team’s roster were going to make the series difficult.
Although Stripes & Strikes swept the best-of-five series, all three games were close.
Stripes & Strikes won at home, 8-7 and 2-1, July 14 and 15, then went to Back Mountain for Monday’s game, clinching a 10-8 win.
Back Mountain rallied for two runs in the seventh and final inning of the opener, forcing a tie and loading the bases. Stripes & Strikes, however, came back in the bottom of the inning and got the first of two straight game-winning RBI by sacrifice fly.
Nick Spencer went 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored in the loss. Gary Weaver had a double, single, two RBI and a run.
Brian Kwak pitched a complete game, but lost on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth of Game Two.
Kwak, Nick Spencer and Ethan Leone had the team’s only hits. Bryan Osipower scored the only run.
Back Mountain tried to extend its season Monday when it went into the bottom of the seventh down by three. After loading the bases, it pushed in just one run.
Back Mountain also finished second to Stripes & Strikes in the regular season when it went 7-5.
Nick Spencer drove in the winning run in the first game and pitched a complete game in the second when Back Mountain swept Swoyersville, 8-7 and 5-3, in a best-of-three series.
Cory Bean got the win in relief and Dusty Shaver worked the last inning for the save July 9.
Gary Weaver had a home run to complete the sweep July 10.
Back Mountain also made the playoffs in Junior Legion, which featured a different format.
Back Mountain defeated Tunkhannock, 15-5, in a preliminary round game July 12 to reach the four-team, modified double-elimination portion of the tournament where it lost two straight games.
Stripes & Strikes defeated Back Mountain, 8-4, July 13 and Greater Pittston inflicted the season-ending, 8-7 loss the next day.
Back Mountain led, 7-4, going into the sixth inning before Greater Pittston rallied.
Back Mountain had concluded the regular season 11-7 for fourth place in the eight-team league. Tunkhannock went 8-8 to finish fifth and make the six-team playoffs.
Back Mountain went 5-11 to place seventh in the nine-team league. It went 4-3 after starting the season 1-8.
Tunkhannock went 7-9, making the playoffs with a fifth-place finish, but lost, 4-0, in the preliminary round of the six-team playoffs and was eliminated by Greater Pittston July 13.
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