Penn-Trafford Junior Legion puts it together, rolls into state tournament

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Saturday, July 24, 2021 | 2:56 PM


Talk about putting everything together at the right time.

That’s what Penn-Trafford did this past weekend at the Pennsylvania American Legion Youth Western Regional at Punxsutawney.

The Warriors won all four of their games and outscored their opponents, 43-9.

By winning the tournament, Penn-Trafford earned a trip to Berwick for the state tournament. The Warriors began state play with a 5-2 victory over the 2019 champion Boyertown Grizzlies on Saturday.

There was no state tournament in 2020 because of covid-19 concerns.

Penn-Trafford coach Steve Freas said he was excited about the facing Boyertown, a perennial power.

That’s because his team has been playing great.

Penn-Trafford defeated Oil City (11-2), Punxsutawney (12-1) and Monroeville (8-3) in pool play and then Connellsville (12-3) in the championship game.

“We pitched really well in the tournament,” Steve Freas said. “I didn’t use as much pitching as I thought. We used nine pitchers and allowed only 14 walks.

“Our pitchers threw strikes, and our defense made the plays. The team really responded.”

Freas’ top pitchers were his son Tyler, Drew Sherwin, Brandon Roher, Tyler Temple, Ian Hoffman and Evan Gross. He was pleased with the performance Chuck Fontana gave him against Monroeville.

While Jason Sabol, Sherwin, Brody Hoffmann, Fontana and Ethan Septak had big weeks at the plate, it was a bunt by Carmen Metcalfe in the Punxsutawney game that fired up the team.

“It was a perfect bunt, and Punxsutawney had troubles with it,” Steve Freas said. “We went on to score 11 runs in the inning.

“Everyone got to play in the regional, and everyone contributed. Another nice thing is we’re getting outfielder Owen Demari, who sustained a shoulder injury early in the season, back for the state tournament.”

Temple came in and pitched three shutout innings against Monroeville, Sabol had two doubles and two RBIs, and Hoffmann tripled.

Against Connellsville, Sherwin had three hits, Sabol two hits, and Temple had a double.

“We’re hitting the ball well,” Steve Freas said. “The kids are having a lot of fun.”

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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