Springdale Legion, hurt by vacation losses, exits Region 6 tournament
For many years, it was thought the team that had the best chance of advancing in the American Legion playoffs was the team with the deepest pitching staff.
These days, it often seems the team that avoids players going on vacation has the best chance of success.
With three starters on vacation, Springdale exited the Region 6 playoffs after a 12-4 loss to Uniontown on Sunday at Beaver Falls High School.
Players not sticking around has Springdale manager Frank Sweeney and others programs perplexed.
Upper St. Clair won its Allegheny County division title but didn't make the trip to regionals because of a lack of players. USC was replaced by West Mifflin.
River City, from the Ellwood City area, also withdrew when too many players went on vacation. Legion officials were ready to slot in the Hopewell vs. Ambridge-Baden winner, but Hopewell bowed out.
“It seems like the teams like Blackhawk and Uniontown, with 17, 18 players on full rosters can usually do well,” Sweney said. “We were doing all right until the vacation stuff came.”
With a makeshift lineup and players performing at unfamiliar positions, Springdale committed nine errors.
Springdale (17-7, 13-3) led, 2-1, after one inning. Uniontown took the lead with a pair of runs in the second and tallied six in the third inning, chasing Springdale starter and losing pitcher James Sirro.
Sirro and Joe Palumbo led Springdale with two doubles each.
“We ended up winning the Allegheny River East, so we'll have to try and get 'em next year,” said Sweeney, who completed his 26th season Sunday.
George Guido is a freelance writer.