Chartiers Valley U-16 travel teams reap varsity benefits
With the summer in full swing in Western Pennsylvania, the Chartiers Valley Baseball Association is back in action.
The under-16 league features several teams with players from Chartiers Valley and Carlynton.
The Chartiers Valley 2 squad is off to a 3-2 start and battling on top of the South Division.
“The kids play together on the high school team,” manager Jay Cruz said. “They come together for the summer and continue to get better.”
The roster has players ranging from 14 to 16 years old. The younger players on the roster could have played for a Pony team but wanted to play up.
“They are on the high school team,” Cruz said. “Pony has shorter bases and a shorter mound. Playing at the Colt level, the older kids are able to bring them along faster.”
Chartiers Valley 2’s roster features an abundance of pitching talent. Justin Ives, Louis Civitarese, Jackson Chippich, Patrick Marsh, Luke Andruscik and Ian Zimmerman have seen the mound.
“That has helped the team do well,” Cruz said. “I have eight kids who can pitch, if not more. Some of the kids play travel so they might not be able to pitch. But because we have so much depth, we should be OK.
“We are even trying out some new pitchers. The goal is to help develop kids so they can continue to the high school team.”
Cruz said the rest of the field has shown solid fundamentals and limited errors. The team is averaging four runs.
“The hitting has been pretty good,” Cruz said. “We have experience from the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams. The high school team has some pretty good hitting coaches, so that has helped.”
The Chartiers Valley 2 squad isn’t the only team in the CVBA filled with Colts players. In past seasons, the league featured separate teams for Bridgeville, Collier and others. Those teams have combined to form two Chartiers Valley teams.
“It’s fun to have several communities from Chartiers Valley come together,” Cruz said. “In the past, they have been separate.”
Chartiers Valley 1 also is filled with players from the high school program. The team opened the season by falling to Chartiers Valley 2, 2-0, and beating West Allegheny, 4-3.
The CIT (Crafton Ingram Thornburg) squad started the season on a three-game skid, getting outscored 32-7. But the team scored back-to-back wins over Mt. Lebo 2, 10-9, and Chartiers Valley 2, 6-3, to move up the standings. The CIT team features players from a variety of schools including Chartiers Valley, Carlynton and Montour.
Other teams in the South Division include Fort Cherry, Keystone Oaks, Mt. Lebo 1, Mt. Lebo 2 and Sto-Ken-Rox. The North Division includes Avonworth, Moon, Montour 1, Montour 2, Quaker Valley, South Side Beaver and West Allegheny.
South Side Beaver has won the CVBA Colt League title the past two seasons.
Nathan Smith is a freelance writer.