ShareThis Page
Community Sports

Murrysville Junior Legion finishes third in state

Doug Gulasy
| Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Members of the Murrysville Junior Legion team pose with their trophies after winning the Westmoreland County championship on July 20, 2013, at Haymaker Park.
Doug Gulasy | Murrysville Star
Members of the Murrysville Junior Legion team pose with their trophies after winning the Westmoreland County championship on July 20, 2013, at Haymaker Park.

The Murrysville Junior Legion team had the goal of playing as long as it could this summer.

In the end, Murrysville almost played as long as any team possibly could.

Murrysville lost, 6-4, to Upper Perkiomen last week in the semifinals of the Pennsylvania Youth Legion Tournament. With the loss, Murrysville ended the season as the third-place Legion team in the state.

Newtown beat Upper Perkiomen, 5-1, last Wednesday to win the state championship.

“Our goal was to make it as far as we could,” Murrysville manager Ken Halleck said. “We ended one less day than the maximum.”

Murrysville (24-8) actually led Upper Perkiomen, 4-1, heading into the fifth inning of last week's matchup, but Upper Perkiomen scored one run in the bottom of the fifth and four more in the sixth to come away with the victory.

“I don't think anybody would be ashamed to say there were some tears when we got the kids together (after the game),” Halleck said. “But as we told the kids, if you're not upset, if there's not a sense of disappointment, then you're not emotionally invested. I think every kid there was emotionally invested. It was a great run, (and I) couldn't be prouder of the kids.”

While Bloomsburg also lost in the semifinals, to Newtown, Murrysville was awarded the third-place finish in the state because it beat Bloomsburg, 9-1, earlier in the state tournament.

Halleck said he looked back on the season's accomplishments — including a Westmoreland County championship and a second-place finish at the Western Regional Tournament — with pride.

“It's just a total sense of being proud of being associated with and coaching these kids, knowing the resiliency and how they had to overcome all of those things,” he said.

The state recognized Murrysville's Ben Ramey with the Sportsmanship Award. Ramey, one of the team's emotional leaders, pitched in the final game against Upper Perkiomen despite a knee injury he suffered two days earlier against Newtown.

“He gave it everything he had,” Halleck said. He added later that Ramey's teammates also showed resilience in playing through injuries late in the season.

“Every one of our kids was banged up, was tired, (had) sore arms, bad backs, scraped-up knees,” Halleck said. “There wasn't one kid on our team that was (completely) ‘healthy.' It's one thing to play your best early in the season, but we set a goal of playing our best baseball at the end of the year — peaking and playing our best baseball when it came to the county championships and the regionals and states. But we had to overcome a lot.”

While Murrysville's season ended one victory shy of the state championship game, Halleck said it was a very successful campaign overall. The team carried on the tradition of its predecessors from last summer, which went 25-1 en route to a berth in the regional tournament.

“From my perspective, (2012 coach Gus Bondi) is kind of the standard bearer of the (tradition),” Halleck said. “It was just a privilege to carry it on.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me