Region 7 Legion roundup: Bushy Run wins on walk-off
Three of the four opening-round games at the Pennsylvania American Legion Region 7 tournament were decided in walk-off fashion.
Bushy Run, St. Michael and Bedford picked up wins in their final at-bat.
Michael Ritter’s pinch-hit, two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Jon Peduzzi from second base to lift Bushy Run (24-8) to a thrilling 1-0 victory against three-time defending regional champion Beech Creek, 1-0.
After the game, Ritter received a water shower from his teammates celebrating the clutch hit.
Ritter said he relishes the pinch-hitting role.
“I was just looking for a pitch to put in play,” Ritter said. “I thought it was a pop-up. This was my first walk-off. It was so intense”
Before the hit, it was a pitcher’s duel between Beech Creek’s Ethan Watkins and Bushy Run’s Tyler Chrise. Both starters were sharp and kept opposing batters off balance.
Watkins worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning, and Chrise stranded a runner on third in the fifth inning.
“Michael got the hit and Tyler pitched well,” Bushy Run coach Scott Peyman said. “It was a big win against a very good team.”
St. Michael 4, Unity 3 - It was déjà vu all over for the Bulldogs.
For the second consecutive game at Hempfield, Unity failed to close things out.
Unity grabbed a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning on a two-out, two-run double by losing pitcher Matt Albaugh, but St. Michael took advantage of an error, a wild pitch and a walk-off, two-run single by Nate Kundrod in the bottom of the inning.
The loss stunned Unity, which lost to Hempfield East in the District 31 championship game last week in similar fashion.
“This one stings,” Unity coach Ed Guzik said. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to bounce back from this one.
“They got the clutch hit, and we didn’t get the big out when we needed. We just didn’t play good enough defense.”
Guzik said he was proud of the pitching effort from Andy Bradford, who limited St. Michael to a run in the first inning and then blanked them the rest of the way.
Unity first baseman Tate O’Barto, who had a double and single, scored on a sacrifice fly by Ben Shaw to tie the score 1-1 in the second inning.
Unity will face Beech Creek at 2 p.m. Saturday in the loser’s bracket.
Bedford 8, Mifflin County 7 - The Canes scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out the opening-round win.
They will face Punxsutawney at 11 a.m. Saturday.