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Franklin Regional baseball players to represent WPIAL at Keystone Games

| Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Michael Love | For the Murrysville Star
Franklin Regional rising senior Brett Myers delivers a pitch during a game against Plum on April 18, 2013, at Haymaker Park.
Tribune-Review
Central Catholic's Richard Buxter is tagged out on a fielder's choice by Franklin Regional third baseman Brandon Nania during the top of the sixth inning of their game at Haymaker Park in Murrysville on April 18, 2012. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

Franklin Regional baseball players Patrick Kukalis and Brett Myers grew used to playing against the likes of Bethel Park and Plum during their time with the Panthers.

Beginning next week in Harrisburg, they'll get the chance to play with them.

Rising seniors Kukalis and Myers will play for the West team in the Scholastic Division of the 2013 Keystone State Games, which run from July 31-Aug. 4 in Harrisburg. Rising sophomore Joey Kegerreis will represent Franklin Regional in the Junior Division.

As members of the West team, Kukalis and Myers will represent the WPIAL with 18 other players and compete against teams representing seven other regions of Pennsylvania. The team is coached by Serra Catholic's Brian Dzurenda.

“It'll be nice to finally be playing with them instead of against them for a change,” Kukalis said. “You get to meet all the kids from your area and then play kids from a different area and see how they are. It's cool to get a feel for the different aspects of baseball from the different areas of Pennsylvania.”

The players earned their spot on the team after attending one of three tryouts in June, including one held at Haymaker Park in Murrysville.

“There's definitely a lot of talented kids there,” said Myers, who tried out as a pitcher and could also see some time in the field in Harrisburg. “You have to kind of stand out in pitching. Teams always need pitching. Since I pitch, I was on the mound, and I guess they saw something they liked.”

Kukalis and Myers will be among the leading returning players for the Franklin Regional baseball team next season after seeing significant time as juniors. Kukalis batted .377 with one home run and 17 runs batted in, while Myers batted .354 with 16 RBI and went 4-1 with a 4.14 earned-run average on the mound.

The Keystone State Games will begin with a coaches meeting July 31. Games will begin the morning of Aug. 1.

“It'll be cool to go up there with (Kukalis) and play with the best players in Western Pennsylvania to compete against players from all over the state that you don't normally see,” Myers said.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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