Junior Legion endures shortened bench
It was a good news/bad news week for Jeannette Junior Legion team.
Unfortunately, the good news piece was not the team's first win this season.
Good news items included more offensive production than the team has seen all season, head coach Marcus Clarkson has discovered that a few players can be counted on at certain positions and Jeannette fought hard in all three games they played last week.
Bad news items included three losses despite the good news items.
“We had five or six players on vacation this week and most were starters that we really count on,” said Clarkson. “We have been playing with nine or 10 guys and it has not been easy.”
Jeannette's week began with a game that has yet to end — a rain-suspended game with Police Athletic League. Jeannette trails entering the home half of the third, 7-5, but again, despite the deficit, Clarkson sees some good news coming out of the game.
“We have more turns at bat left in that game than PAL. Hopefully the offense can score a few and pull it out.”
Another good news/bad news game last Wednesday saw Sam Rehard make his first start of the year at Murrysville and he was impressive despite a 7-1 loss.
“Sam was pressed into action and threw a lot of strikes,” said Clarkson. “He was very good. We allowed some unearned runs and didn't really help him.”
Jeannette trailed 2-1 in the middle of the fifth when the defense faltered and Murrysville capitalized scoring five runs to put the game away.
A scheduled double-header last Saturday against Shaler turned into a single game when rain cancelled game two. The first game fit the theme of Jeannette's week perfectly.
“We had some good news and some bad news in the Shaler game,” said Clarkson. “The good news is that we scored more runs than we have all year, the bad news is that we gave up 20.”
Behind three hits from Kevin Borland and two from Jonathan Stokum, Jeannette put up 10 runs but a Shaler hit coupled with some porous Jeannette defense led to the 20-10 loss.
Clarkson is looking forward to the next set of games for Jeannette because he thinks the good news — the return of vacationing players and injured center fielder Chris Steffen — will put an end to the bad news of losing baseball games.
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.