South Xtra: Peters Township Legion regrouping, hopes to make run at playoffs
July 3, 2014 12:00 AM
Seton-LaSalle grad David Boehme has emerged as the ace of the pitching staff for the Peters Township American Legion team.
By Drew Karpen / Tri-State Sports & News Service
Between the solid chalk lines the rules seldom change in the game of baseball.
But outside those premises, the rules of high school and American Legion ball could not be more apart. Just ask Peters Township.
Last year Peters qualified for the Region 6 tournament but was unable to participate due to the amount of players on the team heading off on family vacations.
"We qualified for the regionals," manager Dave Edmunds said. "We called West Mifflin to take our place. We didn't have enough guys to go. A lot of guys went on vacation."
So far this year Peters has witnessed more of the same. Entering play on Monday, the team was sitting in the middle of the pack of the Allegheny South Division with a 6-6 record.
"I have eight kids on vacation," Edmunds said. "They have been off and on for the last two weeks. It is our biggest struggle. When I have everybody here, I am very competitive."
Edmunds' team has shown it can flip the switch with wins against Elizabeth Forward, South Park, Carrick, Bethel Park, Keystone Oaks and Chartiers Valley. Peters has also suffered losses against Carrick, Upper St. Clair, Moon, Houston and West Mifflin twice.
Even with the roller-coaster season, Edmunds likes where his team is heading down the home stretch of the regular season.
"There are six teams that make the district playoffs and two or three that will move on to regionals," Edmunds said. "We are right in the middle. We are right where we want to be right now.
"We have three games this week. We play Elizabeth Forward, Bethel Park and South Park and Keystone Oaks on Sunday and Moon on Tuesday and two other makeup games. The district playoffs start on July 12."
One edge Peters will have over its competitors is home-field advantage throughout the district playoffs as it will once again be played at Peters-wood Park.
Peters has been led all year by its ace pitcher, David Boehme. Boehme just graduated and finished his career at Seton-LaSalle this past season.
"He made the all-section team," Edmunds said. "He is basically our ace. He is going to Penn State Behrend."
Also helping on the mound is recent Peters Township graduate Steve Yuran, a left-hander.
Making an impact in the lineup is all-section second baseman Phil Pisarcik, Mitch Bianco, Jake Pisarcik, catcher Jack Bittel, outfielders Garrett Sanders, Ethan Anderson and Boomer Kemp.
With all the absentees and obstacles that Peters has had to overcome, the team still has its eyes set on making the playoffs and will do so with pitching.
"We want to make the playoffs and move on to the regionals," Edmunds said. "We had the district tournament at Peters for a long time. We advance two, sometimes three teams to regionals.
"The biggest thing is the wooden bat. It slows down the scoring. Pitchers are a lot better against a wooden-bat hitter. You don't have that home run capability."
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