Meadville Tribune

Sports

July 11, 2013

AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL: FCV looking for recommitment in chase to CVAL title

MEADVILLE — An underdog story, a team with high expectations and another playing with nothing to lose are just some of the storylines highlighting the 2013 Crawford/Venango American Legion Playoffs, a tournament where five teams will be vying for one elusive championship.

Tournament action kicks off today as Cochranton travels to Meadville. The winner claims the fourth and final seed. Franklin is the top-seeded squad, French Creek Valley sits second, and Oil City has a hold of the third seed.

It’s been five years since French Creek Valley hasn’t held the top spot in the tournament, a result that can be traced back to FCV forfeiting a doubleheader against Franklin earlier this season. That forfeit came at a pivotal time for FCV, which finished with an    8-3 conference record, as a lack of commitment from players nearly prematurely ended its season.

French Creek Valley manager Brandon Crum looks at that moment as a turning point.

“We really had some commitment issues with our players, and it was a wake-up call for the guys,” Crum said. “It was a reset button for our season. I explained to them my expectations and the community’s expectations, and where this team has been the last five years. More was expected, and now we’re all-in.”

By losing the two forfeited games to Franklin, FCV only had one look at the top-seeded team this season, which resulted in a walk-off balk by French Creek Valley in the season opener that gave Franklin the victory.

Now, FCV is hoping to get another shot at Franklin. And whether the player’s have fully recommitted is yet to be seen, according to Crum.

“So far things have been good, and we talked about recommitting for the rest of the summer. We need to get all of the other distractions out of the way,” Crum said. “You have to be totally dedicated, and you don’t win championships without dedication.”

While French Creek Valley enters with the expectation of winning another title, a pair of teams, Cochranton and Meadville, look to turn some heads as big underdogs in the tournament.

Both Cochranton and Meadville finished with 3-8 conference records, and both teams agree that those records can be thrown out. Combined, the two squads have gone 1-11 down the stretch, but according to Cochranton manager Randy Staudt, the whole thing is up for grabs.

“I mean, it’s baseball. Anything can happen,” Staudt said of his team’s chances of making a deep run in the tournament. “ It’s been a rough second half for us, but we need to play at the top of our game. If we do that, we can beat anybody.”

Cochranton will have to start that road to the title in Meadville, a team Cochranton took two of three meetings against this season. A.J. Nageotte will likely get the nod on the hill for Cochranton, a reliable pitcher that has started in all three conference wins this season.

Nageotte’s opposition has yet to be decided, but for Meadville manager Jason Bustamante, no matter who he throws out there today, he will be playing with a sense of confidence.

“As a team, we’re mentally pretty good right now,” Bustamante said. “We’ve been losing games that we should have won, and a lot of our losses are by one or two runs. The confidence is up on the whole team.”

Meadville might need that sense of calm in its favor considering how young the team is. All but three players are either 15- or 16-year-olds, compared to a team like French Creek Valley, where  just one roster player has yet to play in a legion post-season.

“It’s a very young team, and a lot of people will count us out, but don’t underestimate us,” Bustamante said. “We have a lot of young talent, and we fight from the first inning to the last. It’s a real good group of kids to have.”

That eager approach may be exactly what Meadville has to have in order to keep pace with the top-seeded teams.

For Crum, it’s experience that he expects to shine through when it matters the most.

“For some of the oldest guys on the team, this is their fourth time going for a title, and potentially competing for a Region 8 championship and even beyond that. That experience will prove to be beneficial for our team,” Crum said. “We are prepared, and we expect to win it.”

Tournament action begins today in Meadville beginning at 6 p.m. The championship game is set for Sunday at 10 a.m. at Franklin High School.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • McKissock-Siple ‘Magic Mark’ has a knack for success

    Magic Mark.
    Throughout his phenomenal high school and all-star softball coaching career, Mark McKissock has — in his best effort — always deflected attention away from him.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • New run brings back sweet memories

    “Memories of a lifetime.”
    Former local softball standouts Hannah (Parker) Borkovich, Carissa Johnston and Samantha McKissock can relate to the emotions going through the District 1 players as they get ready to compete in the Senior League Softball World Series in Sussex County, Del. on Sunday.

    August 1, 2014

  • Celebration District 1 captures East Region title in rout

    Everyone has a dream.
    For Cochranton’s Sam Kinter that dream was to one day emulate the youngsters she watched on television taking part in the Little League World Series.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Manziel battling playbook, Hoyer in first NFL camp

    Johnny Manziel has quickly learned his college days — on the field anyway — are over.

    July 31, 2014

  • SLIDESHOW: A look back at the 2003 World Series team

    Click image for slideshow

    With the D1 team heading to this year's World Series we thought it would be fun to look back at the 2003 team who went to Kentucky.

    July 31, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 claims spot in Senior League World Series

    District 1 will represent the East in the Senior League Softball World Series which begins Sunday in Sussex County, Delaware.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • District 1 District 1 girls enjoy day off

    It was a tense day for many of the teams participating in the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hawley scores District 1 finishes off dominant pool performance by trouncing New Jersey

    Pitchers often get the most credit in shutout victories. And Emma Osborne, Katy Dunn and Emily Beddick have certainly been deserving for District 1.
    Its defense, though, has been equally deserving.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sliding into second District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs

    Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
    “Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers camp Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
    Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Poll

A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

I’m fine with it. If she cannot afford childcare, what choice does she have?
This is horrible and very bad parenting.
I’m torn. It’s not right what she did, but it sounds like the mother had few other options.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks