With statewide American Legion season called off, another local league hoping to start soon

Friday, June 5, 2020 | 6:19 PM

Another area group is planning to hold a season for teams that would have normally played American Legion baseball this summer in Washington, Westmoreland, Fayette and Allegheny counties.

The Western Pennsylvania Baseball League hopes to begin play with exhibition games June 13. The regular season will open June 17.

According to league spokesman Geno Sedlak, 17 teams are ready to participate since the conoravirus took away the high school season for seniors.

Sedlak and Bill Chruscial are organizing the league.

Teams committed to playing include Smithfield-Fairchance, Belle Vernon, Ringgold, South Park, Bethel Park, Frazier, Baldwin, Monroeville, Thomas Jefferson, Highlands (Natrona Heights), Penn-Trafford, Norwin, Jeannette, Valley, Fox Chapel, Plum and Elizabeth Forward. Thomas Jefferson and Norwin each may field two teams, which would give the league 19 teams.

“I told my players to start preparing for a season,” Smithfield-Fairchance coach Ron Popovich said. “We’re still in a pandemic, so I hope things will happen.”

Sedlak said teams will have to have players sign waivers and each team is responsible for insurance.

Pennsylvania American Legion announced April 13 that its statewide sanctioned season would be canceled because of coronavirus concerns.

“We just wanted to replace the Legion season that was lost for the players,” Chruscial said. “It will be nice to see baseball. A schedule hasn’t been made and teams have until Wednesday to verify that they are in.”

Sedlak said that any team wanting to play can contact him at 412-760-7730.

Meanwhile, the Westmoreland County American League released its full schedule Friday with Yough at West Hempfield opening the season June 13.

Latrobe will be play an exhibition doubleheader Sunday against Hollidaysburg and another exhibition game Tuesday at home against Yough.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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