Bushy Run Legion team falls short after amazing run
It was a disappointing end to an amazing season for the Bushy Run American Legion baseball team.
The hottest team coming into the Pennsylvania American Legion Region 7 tournament at Latrobe picked a bad team to cool off against and not play its best.
After opening the tournament with an 8-1 victory against Mifflin County, Bushy Run suffered consecutive losses to Hempfield East, 12-2, and Beech Creek, 8-4.
Bushy Run had shut out five consecutive opponents — including Hempfield East, 4-0, in the District 31 championship game — coming into the Region 7 tournament.
And things looked good after Tyler Horvat pitched a gem against Mifflin County, which lost to Hempfield East, 8-7, in 11 innings in the championship game.
But Hempfield East, the regular-season District 31 champion, used two four-run innings (the second and third) to take command of the game after Bushy Run took a 1-0 lead on a Jordan Sabol triple and Cade Patterson sacrifice fly in the first inning.
“I told the players after the game to wash it off,” Bushy Run coach Scott Peyman said. “We just didn’t pitch well or field well. Hempfield East was able to get some timely hits.”
Peyman felt his squad was set to make a deep run in the tournament and was playing well enough to make a possible run in the state tournament, which begins Saturday at DuBois, because of its deep pitching staff.
But after Horvat’s performance, Bobby Kusinsky and Max Pisi weren’t as sharp as they were in the district tournament.
“The way we were pitching, all we were about was scoring a couple runs,” Peyman said. “But I never expected what happened.”
Walks, which helped Bushy Run against Mifflin County, haunted the Penn-Trafford players in the next two games.
Hempfield East’s Reid Amundson’s bases-loaded double keyed a four-run second inning, and after Pisi walked the bases loaded against Beech Creek, Cayde McCloskey launched a three-run double in the fifth inning to break the score open. McCloskey later scored on a sacrifice fly.
Despite the loss, Peyman was proud how his team competed the past two seasons.
They had numerous players selected to the District 31 All-Star team.
The first-team all-stars were pitchers Maclean Maund and Pisi, catcher Patterson, shortstop Mario Disso and outfielder Tyler Chrise.
On the second team were pitcher Connor Bannias and outfielders Luke Fabac and Jordan Sabol.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .