Hempfield East cruises past Punxsutawney in opening round of Region 7 Legion tournament | TribLIVE.com
Other Local

Hempfield East cruises past Punxsutawney in opening round of Region 7 Legion tournament

Dave Mackall
1431250_web1_web-Baseballstock5

All along this season, Andrew Rosenberg and his Hempfield East teammates have noticed the difference.

Now that they’ve opened defense of their American Legion Baseball Region 7 championship with a 14-4 rout of Punxsutawney on Friday at Latrobe Legion-Keener Field, they appear hungrier than ever.

Hempfield East, which lost to Bushy Run in the District 31 championship game, still hopes to make a return to the state tournament, where in 2018 it barely fielded enough players to compete.

“We didn’t have everybody for states last year,” Rosenberg said, “and we didn’t win states. Everybody took that seriously, and now, we have our full team. No vacations this year. We’re ready to go.”


Rosenberg had three hits and three RBIs and Matt Wicker also had three hits and drove in two as Hempfield East (20-3-1) roared back from a one-run deficit to run past Punxsutawney (13-3) and advance to a second-round regional game against none other than Bushy Run at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Derry Middle School.

“We love to play together,” Rosenberg said. “Everybody’s clicking and having a good time.”

Already, that 4-0 loss Tuesday to Bushy Run in the Region 31 title game, is behind Hempfield East, coach Scott Smith said. A rematch was in store for Saturday.

“We just keep expressing to these guys, if the opportunity strikes, you’ve got to grab it,” Smith said.

Punxsutawney led Hempfield East, 2-1, in the second on Adison Neal’s RBI single after both teams put up a run in the first.

Hempfield East scored first on Wicker’s RBI single before Punxsutawney tied it on Tanner LaBenne’s run-scoring hit.

Hempfield East chased Punxsy starter Aaron Park with a five-run uprising in the fourth that gave it a 6-2 lead, and the winners pulled away with four more runs in the fifth to go up 10-2.

“Our bats came alive, and we had good, aggressive base running,” Smith said. “We had some hit-and-runs early that really changed the tempo of the game and really opened things up for us.”

Hempfield East patched together five hits in the five-run fourth, including DaJuhn Hertzog’s RBI double and run-scoring singles by Rosenberg and Wicker.

Rosenberg’s two-run double highlighted Hempfield East’s four-run fifth.

Reed Hipps, who pitched 2 1/3 effective innings in relief of winner Shane Stuchell, doubled home a run during a two-run sixth for Hempfield East. Hipps had two hits and scored four runs.

“Reed did a good job coming in and holding them,” Smith said.

Hempfield East took a business-like approach shortly afterward, clearing the gear quickly to make way for the tournament’s next game.

Rosenberg lugged his bag out of the dugout and flashed a smile.

“We have the chemistry to make another run,” he said. “As long as we stay up in the game, have a good time and hit and field the ball like we know we can, that’s how you win games.”

Having a deep roster doesn’t hurt, either.

Dave Mackall is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Categories: Sports | Other Local
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.