Latrobe rallies for ninth straight victory in Westmoreland County baseball summer league
Thursday, July 9, 2020 | 10:46 PM
Sometimes you win games. Sometimes you get a gift.
The latter is what happened to Latrobe on Thursday night at Legion Keener Field in a first-place showdown in the Westmoreland County American Baseball League. Christmas came in July for the Jethawks.
Latrobe (11-1) took advantage of 11 walks and a couple errors, scored six unearned runs in the sixth inning and rallied to defeat Murrysville, 10-8. It was Latrobe’s ninth consecutive league victory.
The teams will meet Thursday at Haymaker Field. Murrysville (5-2) falls into a second-place tie with Hempfield East (5-2).
“We chart freebies,” Latrobe coach Jason Bush said. “We try to take advantage of freebies and cutting down on our own. Unfortunately, we made a couple early in the game which really helped them. I felt the no quit in these guys was huge.”
Latrobe fought an uphill battle almost the entire game after Murrysville scored three times in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Sciulli, a triple by Zach Miller and a wild pitch.
Latrobe rallied for two runs in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Vincent Amatucci and bases loaded walk by catcher Logan Short.
“Pitching and defense has been our calling card this season,” Murrysville coach Chas Brncic said. “We walked 11 and I think six scored. That’s a tough team and they’ve rallied in some games to beat some good teams.
“We’re trying to stay out of that lower half of the standings. It was a tough one to lose. We pitched our butts off. We just had a couple of untimely errors, and we’ve committed a few errors the past couple of games and we’ve overcome it. That’s too good of a team to give freebies to.”
Both teams scored two runs in the fifth inning before Murrysville added an unearned run in the sixth inning for a 6-4 lead.
Then came the disastrous bottom of the sixth for Murrysville.
“We kept fighting and we put pressure on them,” Bush said. “Teams aren’t going to make mistakes if you don’t put pressure on them. We won the freebie war today, and that’s pretty much why we won.”
Short opened the inning with a single, and an out later, Drew Clair, down two strikes, singled to left.
Ben Anderson walked to load the bases. After Ben Rafferty struck out, Clay Petrosky scored on a passed ball. Ethan Boring walked to load the base again and then Tucker Knupp’s pop up in the infield was dropped, allowing two runs to score.
Amatucci walked to load the bases and Jake Bradish singled home two more runs. A third scored on the play on an outfielder’s error.
Murrysville plated two more runs in the top of the seventh inning but just couldn’t catch Latrobe at the end.
“That’s a good club,” Bush said. “They swing the bats well. I’m sure we’re going to see them a few more times.”
Miller had a double and triple for Murrysville and Conner Helm had three hits. Trevor Brncic had a two-run single in the fifth inning in the loss.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .