Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Area Teams Are Regional Hosts

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Area Teams Are Regional Hosts

Article excerpt

The past two National Amateur Baseball Federation runners-up won't have to travel very far for their regional this week.

The Steel City Black Sox and St. Johns-Lefty's Saints of the Greater Pittsburgh Federation Baseball League will have the luxury of staying home this season as Pittsburgh is playing host to an NABF regional for the first time, starting today.

"We've wanted to host a regional for the past few years, but it's costly and we didn't know if we'd have the money," Greater Pittsburgh Federation League commissioner Pat Paulson said. "But the coaches got together and they thought if we had a golf outing [as a fund-raiser], we'd be able to raise the money.

"So at the end of last year, I talked with [NABF executive director] Charles [Blackburn] and we put in to have the regional here."

The regional consists of teams from Western Pennsylvania, western New York and Ohio. The past few years, Greater Pittsburgh Federation League teams traveled to Youngstown, Ohio, for the regional.

In 2011, Steel City won the Youngstown regional on its way to a second-place finish at the World Series in Louisville. Last year, it was St. Johns-Lefty's who came out of the Youngstown regional before losing in the final of the NABF World Series in Buffalo, N.Y.

St. Johns (26-0-1) won its eighth consecutive Greater Pittsburgh Federation Baseball League title last week, sweeping three games against Steel City (18-10) in a best-of-five championship series. Both teams qualified for the regional tournament. But Rick Krist, a player/assistant coach on St. Johns who is one of the main organizers of the regional, said there won't be much of an advantage staying home.

"Other than travel, it won't help," Krist said. "We've done everything we could to make it an even playing field."

The one benefit for the Greater Pittsburgh Federation League is being able to send a third team to the regional. …

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