Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

River City Forms a Lethal Combo

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

River City Forms a Lethal Combo

Article excerpt

During the high school baseball season, Riverside and Ellwood City are bitter WPIAL Class AA Section 5 rivals, much like the neighboring two schools are in most sports.

During the summer American Legion season, however, the teams combine to form one of the top programs in the Beaver County League.

So far through nearly two full seasons of combining Riverside and Ellwood City players to form River City, the experiment has been a raging success.

Last summer River City reached the Beaver County championship series, eventually losing to Hopewell. This summer River City finished 12-5 during the regular season to finish second in the West Division behind Blackhawk (15-2), qualifying for the playoffs.

In the first round of the playoffs River City swept Beaver Falls in the best-of-three series winning, 7-0 and 9-4, to advance to the semifinals against East Division champion Ambridge-Baden this week.

River City defeated Ambridge-Baden, 10-2, in the first game of their best-of-three series and is scheduled to play again today at 5:30 at home.

The team features four starters from Ellwood City and the remainder from Riverside.

"We tore down that rivalry they have during the high school season and they get along like brothers now," River City manager Doug Falk said.

"This is the second year we have had this team. Things have really come together and that is why we are one of the last four teams standing."

River City has four players from the Class of 2012. Matt Germanowski is an Ellwood City graduate while Rob Hardy, Tyler Whitlatch and Corey Belonzi graduated from Riverside. Germanowski played this past spring at Pitt-Greensburg. Hardy, Whitlatch and Belonzi were on the Riverside team that won the 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.

River City was able to make a run to the Beaver County championship series last season despite the deep run to the PIAA final by Riverside that forced the American Legion to play 16 games in just three weeks.

In comparison, Beaver Area made a run to the PIAA final this season and the Brighton Township American Legion team that consists of mostly Beaver Area players, finished ninth this season and missed the playoffs. …

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