New coaches hope to help Murrysville American Legion baseball program rebound

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Saturday, June 11, 2022 | 9:01 AM


There was a time not too long ago when the Murrysville American Legion baseball team ruled District 31.

The road to a title always traveled through Murrysville.

But for different reasons, mainly the top players electing to play travel ball, the shine of the program has diminished.

But a couple old-school coaches — Patrick McKay and assistant Bob Bozzuto — are back trying to revive the program. Bozzuto started the Junior Legion program in the county and was Murrysville’s manager for years.

Murrysville is off to a 1-3 start, defeating Derry, losing to Bushy Run and dropping a doubleheader to Young Township, one of the top teams in the league according to McKay, who played for Bozzuto at Murrysville and is the North Catholic high school coach.

“We have some good athletes here who can play decent baseball,” McKay said. “But we’re dealing with players being pulled different ways. There is a competition for athletes.

“We’re looking for them to commit to playing baseball. We want to provide them with good coaches, who are willing to teach baseball and have got players to the next level.”

Murrysville has a young squad led by 2021 Franklin Regional grad Jeffrey Downs, who’ll play shortstop and pitch. Two recent Franklin Regional grads — center fielder/pitcher Jordan Suvak and right fielder/second baseman Nick DalCanton — will also be counted on as leaders.

“Those three are in the middle of our lineup,” McKay said. “We’re counting on them to carry the offense. We just have to get our key players to every game”

McKay said four young players — first baseman Owen Sinclair, third baseman Joshua Hudak, catcher Chase Lemke and leftfielder Ryan Catello — could also play key roles.

Others counted on include first baseman Ben Poole, second baseman Dom Depaulo, left fielder Brody Reese, infielder Cole Brinker, outfielder Sam Constantin, outfielder Max Rutkowski, catcher Gionni Lagnese, corner infielder Luke Dolan, catcher Brandon Smith and pitcher David Soisson.

“Bob and I are old-school coaches,” McKay said. “We want players to be committed to playing for the team. We’re looking to get the program back to where it once was.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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