Bushy Run harps on Latrobe mistakes to capture D31 American Legion title

The Jethawks committed five errors as the Beavers earn a 6-2 triumph

Wed Jul 12, 2023 - 9:11PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers
Bushy Run captured their fourth District 31 American Legion Championship since 2017.Bushy Run captured their fourth District 31 American Legion Championship since 2017.

Last Updated: Thu Jul 13, 2023 - 2:57AM

As they have for most of the season, the Bushy Run Beavers relied on strong pitching and stellar defense in Wednesday’s District 31 American Legion Championship game. Bushy Run also capitalized on the uncharacteristic miscues from the Latrobe Jethawks, who committed five errors. The defensive disparity loomed large as top-seeded Bushy Run bested Latrobe 6-2 to capture the district title at Penn-Trafford High School.

With the victory, the Beavers (19-3-1) claimed their fourth title since 2017. Additionally, Bushy Run denied the Jethawks from achieving a three-peat, as third-seeded Latrobe (17-6) fell short in its pursuit of the sixth district crown in program history.

“We win a lot; winning’s fun,” exclaimed Bushy Run winning pitcher Jonny Lovre.

While Lovre was strong in his six innings of work, permitting just two runs on three hits, he also allowed his defense to make plays. The notable defensive efforts included a caught stealing by catcher Ian Temple and a diving catch by Carmen Metcalfe in left field.


Conversely, errors doomed the Jethawks from the very start, as Bushy Run scored twice in the first inning following an error that allowed Matt Lichota to reach. Jason Sabol, recently back from injury, delivered a one-out RBI double, and Chuck Fontana followed with a single to center that plated Sabol to put Bushy Run ahead 2-0.

Latrobe scored its only runs in the top of the third, as Lou Amatucci was hit by pitch, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by older brother Vinny Amatucci. One batter later, Haden Sierocky delivered an RBI single, deadlocking the score at 2-2.

The Beavers regained the lead in the fourth frame, though, as a two-out error allowed Temple to touch home.

Although Latrobe pitcher Logan Bradish showed a penchant for strikeouts early, racking up five through the first three frames, he sputtered in the bottom of the sixth. He allowed back-to-back singles to Gavin Good and Owen Rain, and Lichota followed with a squeeze bunt that scored a run and also yielded an error by Bradish. Two consecutive walks, the second of which was issued by reliever Cole Short, allowed Bushy Run to extend the advantage, and another error permitted a third run to score in the stanza.

Peyton Bigler, in relief of Lovre, closed out the contest by inducing a 1-6-3 double play to secure the championship.

“We pitched well; we played good defense; we hit the ball timely; we got on base; we ran the bases well,” noted Bushy Run manager Scott Peyman. “I was pleased the whole way through the playoffs.”

Peyman, who has overseen all four of the title teams over the past seven campaigns, believes the current version resembles another championship squad.

“This team, they really like playing together. It really reminds me of the ’19 season,” he noted.

Both teams advance to the Region 7 Tournament, which begins on Saturday with pool play at Bald Eagle Area and Bellefonte.