Strong season for Bushy Run Legion baseball ends 1 win from state tournament
Sunday, July 24, 2022 | 9:01 AM
When Bushy Run American Legion manager Scott Peyman talked about his team prior to the season, he did so glowingly.
Despite being young, Peyman said he knew this year’s team had the potential to be good.
Peyman nailed it.
Bushy Run ended the season 23-6-1 and was a win away from qualifying for the Pennsylvania American Legion state tournament, which was scheduled to begin July 23 in Boyertown.
The Beavers finished second in the District 31 standings and finished third in the playoffs. They defeated Unity to advance to the Region 7 tournament at Bedford.
Only champion Phillipsburg stood between Bushy Run and a trip to Boyertown.
Bushy Run posted two come-from-behind wins to open the tournament, defeating St. Michael, 8-5, and District 31 rival Young Township, 7-5, on a walk-off grand slam by Brody Hoffman.
Phillipsburg defeated Bushy Run, 4-1, in the final game of Pool B play, which put the Beavers against District 31 champion Latrobe.
Chuck Fontana’s home run to begin the four-run eighth inning helped Bushy Run defeat Latrobe, 7-3.
“We had a great season,” assistant coach Jay Miller said. “This group had a lot of heart and never quit. Scott and I are so proud of them.”
Part of the team was made up of the 2021 Penn Township Junior Legion team that won the state title.
Bushy Run loses only two players from this squad and Peyman is eager for the 2023 season already.
“It was a learning experience,” Miller said. “The team fought and learned the right way to play the game. We just ran out of arms in the tournament. It was a good run.”
Bushy Run avenged a semifinal sweep by Young Township in the District 31 playoffs.
Different players stepped up during the tournament.
Gavin Good seemed like a doubles machine in the Region 7 tournament. He had at least six doubles in the five games. Matt Lichota and Tyler Freas had big games and Eric Birosak was involved in numerous key plays.
Penn Township set to go
Returning state champion Penn Township seemed ready to bounce back after losing to Murrysville in the county championship.
Manager Steve Freas said his team was counting on strong pitching to carry them in the West Regional at Homer City, which was set to begin July 23.
“These kids know what it takes to win the regional and state,” Freas said. “This is a different team than last year, but I’m confident they’ll do fine.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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