Wet weather causing havoc for EF Legion team
At the start of the season, the concern for the Elizabeth Forward American Legion baseball team was having enough players to even field a team.
Forfeits weren’t in the plan, but …
“We were able to get past that, thanks to some additional players that came down from West Mifflin,” first-year Elizabeth Forward coach Dennis Kampas said. “The problem now is getting our games in before the playoffs.”
Rainy conditions across the region has made it an obstacle for most teams in Region 6, which encompasses the Allegheny East, Allegheny South, Beaver County and Fayette County leagues.
As an example, Elizabeth Forward, which is 8-1 in the Allegheny South League, must squeeze in nine games between before July 11, the first scheduled day for Legion playoff games.
“It’s nuts,” Kampas said of the volume of rainouts. “We’ve got to try to play games Saturday, Sunday, Monday, off Tuesday, and then try again to play two more Wednesday and Thursday.”
Elizabeth Forward added six players from the defunct West Mifflin team, which disbanded before the start of the year.
West Mifflin made a prolific run at a Pennsylvania American Legion title in 2014, winning its first 26 games, capturing the Region 6 championship and advancing to the winners’ bracket at the double-elimination state tournament in Boyertown, Berks County before a pair of losses ended its hopes.
While a number of high-profile players were out of American Legion eligibility this season, six returnees opted to join neighboring Elizabeth Forward: pitchers Zach Fodor and Zach Salmon, catcher Dan Howard, outfielders Josh Fodor and Jake Liposky, and shortstop Todd Sekowski.
South Allegheny, which ceased operations following the 2012 season, rejoined the league this year with a roster that included several players from that boundary that had been playing for Elizabeth Forward.
The Allegheny South League is operating this year with eight teams, down three from a year ago. While South Allegheny is the lone new team, Houston, Peters Township and South Park, in addition to West Mifflin, were dissolved.
Other current teams — all holdovers from last season — are Bethel Park, Carrick, Chartiers Valley, Keystone Oaks, Moon Township and Upper St. Clair.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.