The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


July 16, 2013

Bedford claims Cambria Legion championship

BEDFORD — Bedford put together a complete effort on Tuesday night.

To be exact, the Hurricanes had a championship performance.

Bedford tallied eight runs in the first two innings and then rode a blue-collar pitching effort to a 9-2 victory over visiting Claysburg in the decisive game of the Cambria American Legion League playoff championship series.

“When we got the news (Monday) that we were going to be home, they responded to that very well,” Bedford manager Kelbi Berg said, referring to a rule that enabled his team to host the finale after the Hurricanes forced another contest with a 5-2 victory when facing elimination on Monday.

“They took us down four times in the season and we are very evenly matched teams,” Berg said. “We’re going to miss them in the regional because they are a very good team and they would only make the regional better.”

Bedford will take a 24-4 record, including a 5-1 showing in the playoffs, into Saturday’s American Legion Region 7 Tournament. League playoff runner-up Claysburg is eliminated despite losing only four games this season – all against Bedford. As host of the Region 7 Tournament, Somerset also will advance to regionals out of the Cambria League.

“These two teams, we ended up 4-4 (against each other),” Claysburg manager Dave Aungst said. “If we played another eight times, I’d expect nothing different. They’ve got class kids over there. They’ve got quality ballplayers and quality pitching, just like we do.

“They were able to get the balls where they needed them in key situations when we had runners in scoring position. They were able to get that pitch and make a play.”

Claysburg led 1-0 with an unearned run in the first inning, but the damage might have been worse had Bedford left-hander Eric Grace not worked out of the jam.

Bedford answered with four runs on five hits in the first, four runs on four hits in the second, and one run on two hits in the third.

“The bats were slow the last couple of games but they came to life this game and we scored a lot of runs, which we needed,” said Bedford No. 2 hitter Isaac Stern, who had three hits, including a triple, two runs and two RBI.

Grace helped his cause by going 2-for-2 at the plate with two runs and two RBI. Center fielder Spencer McInroy had two hits and three runs as well as a spectacular diving catch on Claysburg’s Presley Swope’s sinking drive to open the top of the seventh.

Ty Black had two hits, and his towering drive to left-center hit the top of the high chain-link fence and fell back on the field for a double. Dylan Foor had two hits, and Austin Montgomery ripped a two-run double.

“It was huge,” Berg said of Bedford’s offensive production. “We started (three) innings with the leadoff guy on base. There was only one guy in the lineup held without a hit. Anytime you have that in a lineup you win a ballgame.”

Grace pitched 32⁄3 innings, keeping Claysburg in check while working around seven walks. He gave up only one earned run.

Lefty Dylan Downs entered in the fourth. Kasy Hamm, the first batter he faced, singled but Bedford left fielder Kyle Droz threw out Swope attempting to score from second, ending the inning.

“I just came in to throw strikes,” Downs said. “I knew my defense is going to come out and do their job for me. Throwing strikes was my main goal.”

Downs retired the next seven batters in order and nine of the final 10 he faced. Only an error after three players converged on the same pop fly to shallow center interrupted the streak of outs.

“Dylan (Downs), as a young kid, a freshman (this spring), you can’t say enough about his composure on the mound. It looks like he has ice water in his veins,” Berg said. “Eric (Grace) struggled with his control early. He battled his way back. He’s a fighter. He’s a wrestler and he has that mentality. He did a great job.”

Berg said his team has bonded throughout the playoff run.

“Any time you have four schools that come together after trying to beat each other all spring and win a district championship, it’s going to be tough for them to come together at first,” said Berg, who has players from Bedford, Northern Bedford, Everett and Tussey Mountain high schools on his roster. “But we carried on. We got cold at the middle of the season. But we came back strong.”

Aungst pondered what might have been.

“We haven’t been able to open things up and get the timely hit,” Aungst said. “We hit some hard balls. We hit balls right at people. Unfortunately that’s the game of baseball.

“It’s not your night. That’s just the way it goes,” he added. “I still wouldn’t trade these guys for anybody. I’m proud of them. That’s a heck of a team in there, a team that could make some noise this weekend (at regionals). Unfortunately right now they’re not going to get to show it. I wish (Bedford) luck in the regionals. I’m still going to pull every angle I can to try to get us there.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 17, 2014

  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo