The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 10, 2013

PSAC baseball prefers Point Stadium

JOHNSTOWN — The 2014 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference baseball tournament is slated for Pullman Park in Butler.

If the conference has its way, the tournament may return to the place where this year’s event is being contested.

Eight teams from the PSAC, including defending NCAA Division II champion West Chester, traveled to Johnstown, where Point Stadium serves as the venue for the tournament for the third time in four years. The West Virginia Intercollege Athletic Conference held its tournament there in 2008, 2009 and 2012.

The PSAC tournament started Wednesday with three games – lightning delays forced the postponement of a fourth – and continued Thursday with five more. The tournament resumes today and the championship game is scheduled for Saturday.

Point Stadium has become a favorite stop for the conference, which will add Pitt-Johnstown and nearby Seton Hill for the 2013-14 school year. It’s a convenient meeting spot for several of the PSAC tournament regulars like Slippery Rock, California University of Pennsylvania and Millersville. Hotels and restaurants are nearby. Coaches and players can walk to the venue.

“We like coming here,” PSAC Associate Commissioner Will Adair said Thursday. “It’s a great location and comes with great people who help run the tournament. Our coaches love it. We all like the feeling of quirkiness it brings and the fact who can play here under most conditions. For a lot of reasons, it’s the best venue for us.”

The Sportexe artificial turf playing surface enables games to be contested in rainy conditions, which plagued the first two days of the tournament. There’s been an increase in similar surfaces at baseball facilities, but Point Stadium offers something others do not.

The pitcher’s mound and home-plate area are dirt. The mound is of particular concern to PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray.

“Pullman has a turf pitcher’s mound and, quite honestly, I’m nervous about that,” Murray said. “This event is a good showcase for us. We have four or five pitchers here this year that are draft prospects. There was about 20 scouts here earlier today. … Do we want to come back here? Absolutely, yes.”

The PSAC may be comprised of schools from the northeast, but it’s become a power in Division II.

West Chester’s championship gives the conference bragging rites for now, but the PSAC is far from a one-hit wonder.

“Our baseball has been amazing,” Murray said. “We’ve sent a team to the (Division II) World Series nine straight years. With West Chester winning last year, that’s a rarity for a school this far north. We hope it’s something we can continue.”

Slippery Rock produced St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams. Former West Chester second baseman Joseph Wendle was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the sixth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

“It really is amazing the level of play we have,” Adair said. “One reason is the coaching in this league is great. I’ve noticed baseball in the north is kind of catching up to other areas.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • warshel_0721 Warshel selecting UPJ

    For Kelci Warshel, the call to attend Pitt-Johnstown was based on the availability of her desired major – nursing.
    Taking an opportunity to join the university’s women’s track and field program was a very nice add-on and one that the Richland High graduate is ready to jump into ...
    ... Or hurdle over.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitt picked sixth in cluttered Coastal

    Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.
    In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Bedford gets past Clearfield

    Bedford’s Jake Stover had two hits with double and three RBIs in a 9-6 win against host Clearfield in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Claysburg edges Beech Creek

    Claysburg’s Mike Mock went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help his squad get by Beech Creek 7-6 during Sunday’s winners-bracket game in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014