It’s back to the Region 7 Tournament for the Latrobe Legion baseball team.
The Region 7 Tournament schedule was unofficially released on Thursday — it will be confirmed on Friday night — and action involving eight teams is scheduled to begin on Saturday morning at Forest Hills High School and Lilly Field, near Johnstown.
The tournament previously carried a double-elimination format, but it will be a pool play event this year.
Latrobe, as the District 31 champion, is in Pool B along with Beech Creek (Central Penn runners-up), Claysburg (Cambria champion) and Young Township, the third-place finisher from District 31. Pool A features Philipsburg (Central Penn champion), Yough (District 31 runners-up), Bedford (Cambria runners-up) and Saint Michael, the host team.
Latrobe is scheduled to play, 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Lilly Field. The Jethawks will face Claysburg on Saturday and Young Township — the team they swept in the best-of-three District 31 semifinals — on Sunday. The Jethawks’ final pool play game is scheduled for noon, Monday at Forest Hills High School against Beech Creek.
The winner of Pool A will face the second-place team from Pool B, 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Forest Hills High School, while the Pool B winner meets the Pool A runners-up at 2:30 p.m. on the same day. The Region 7 championship will be decided, 5:30 p.m. between the winners of the two semifinal games.
Top-seeded Latrobe captured its first American Legion District 31 championship since 2009 on Wednesday night with a lopsided 9-1 victory against No. 3 Yough at Legion-Keener Field. The victory secured the fourth title in Jethawks’ history, as this year’s squad cemented its legacy alongside teams from 2009, 1993 and 1992.
Latrobe is a 10-time District 31 finalist, last appearing in the championship game in 2016, prior to last year’s title-game appearance in a one-year summer independent league. The Jethawks have appeared in the championship game four times in the last seven seasons and seven times in the last 14 years, dating back to 2008.
Latrobe swept Young Township in the District 31 semifinals, as the Jethawks outscored the Renegades 15-3 during the two-game semifinal-round series. The Jethawks also swept Hempfield East en route to the district championship. Latrobe has won 17 of 19 and 20 of its last 23 against league opponents after starting the season with an 0-2 record. Latrobe has outscored the opposition 116-23 in its last 13 games.
The American Legion season was canceled last year because of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but Latrobe participated in a new one-year independent summer baseball league, which consisted of nine Westmoreland County-based teams. Latrobe made a championship-game appearance in that independent league and a trip to its regional tournament, held last year in Hollidaysburg.
Latrobe has appeared in the Region 7 tournament 13 times since 1992, including last season’s independent league and as the host team in 2019. The Jethawks have been involved in regional play nine times in the past 14 years, including the last three seasons. They have appeared in the regional seven times in the last 10 seasons. Latrobe captured the Region 7 Tournament and advanced to the Pennsylvania State Tournament, both in 2013.
Latrobe qualified for the Region 7 Tournament for the 17th time in program history, good for fifth all-time in the region. The Jethawks were crowned champions twice, in 1981, along with the 2013 title victory. They carry an all-time 31-29 record in region play.
(at Forest Hills and Lilly Field)
Philipsburg, Yough, Bedford, Saint Michael
Latrobe, Beech Creek, Claysburg, Young Township
Beech Creek vs. Young Township, noon
Latrobe vs. Claysburg, 12:30 p.m. (Lilly Field)
Philipsburg vs. Bedford, 3 p.m.
Yough vs. Saint Michael, 6 p.m.
Claysburg vs. Beech Creek, noon
Young Township vs. Latrobe, 12:30 p.m. (Lilly Field)
Bedford vs. Yough, 3 p.m.
Philipsburg vs. Saint Michael, 6 p.m.
Latrobe vs. Beech Creek, noon
Claysburg vs. Young Township, 12:30 p.m. (Lilly Field)
Philipsburg vs. Yough, 3 p.m.
Bedford vs. Saint Michael, 6 p.m.
Tournament semifinals, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Tournament championship, 5:30 p.m.