Latrobe legion ready to preside over Region 7 tournament
When the Latrobe American Legion baseball team was ousted by rival Unity in the opening round of the Westmoreland District 31 playoffs a year ago, it left a bad taste.
"It was unexpected," Latrobe manager Jason Bush said. "Unity was the better team in the playoff series and we didn't deserve to win it."
Latrobe finished the regular season 21-4 and tied for the best record in the league with West Hempfield, the eventual playoff champion and Region 7 winner. It was only the second time a team from the league had advanced to the state tournament, which will be held in Boyertown this season.
This season, Latrobe is 5-3 in the league and 8-4 overall. But no matter how it finishes, Latrobe gets to host the Region 7 tournament beginning July 21.
"Just because we're already in the tournament, our season goals remain the same," Bush said. "We want to win the regular season and win the playoffs.
"With us hosting the tournament, we'll be playing deep into July. We want to be playing well and we don't just want to back into the tournament. We want to be the best and want to represent the league well."
Latrobe returns six starters from last year's squad: pitcher/infielder Ryan Bisi, pitcher/center fielder Matt Shoemaker, pitcher/third baseman Luke Zamiskie, outfielder Pat Davoli, outfielder Kevin Davoli and designated hitter/pitcher Dom Shojaie.
Bush said he'll be counting on his veteran leaders to carry the team. He's excited about the addition of some high school players who are expected to make a huge impact.
They added three starters from the high school team -- catcher/pitcher Derrick Zavatsky, shortstop Jordan Giannini, outfielder Josh Roble and infielder Anthony Monteparte -- and outfielders Bryar Pletcher -- who played at Unity last year but moved into Latrobe -- and Dylan Hall.
"We're still finding ourselves," Bush said. "We have started hitting like we're capable, but the pitching has been good."
Latrobe was 2-1 over the weekend, defeating Blairsville twice in a home-and-home exhibition series but falling to Kiski Valley in a league game Sunday.
In that contest, Latrobe struck out 14 times, which disappointed Bush.
One of Latrobe's early wins was a 3-2 victory against a talented Irwin squad. Bush called the victory huge.
"Zavatsky started the game on the mound and Shoemaker saved it," Bush said. "The Norwin High School team was really good and many of our players remembered them.
"It was a big confidence booster. They realized that they are a pretty good team, too."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers’ tarnished Bell rings true
- How to teach kids happiness
- Pirates win 5th straight as offense continues to click in win over Marlins
- Hines Ward appearing on ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’
- Vandals ruin Ligonier Township farmers’ garden
- Steelers notebook: LB Harrison open for larger role
- Pirates notebook: Struggling Polanco held out of starting lineup
- Steelers’ Brown: Attendance ‘never a doubt’ for offseason workouts
- Arrest made in 2014 case of Blawnox man found dead in Oakland
- UPMC offering buyouts to 3,500 employees in cost-cutting move
- Westmoreland shooting victim flown to Pittsburgh hospital