Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Colts Ride in Section 3-AAA Driver's Seat Chartiers Valley Puts Together 'Puzzle Pieces' for a Winning Formula

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Colts Ride in Section 3-AAA Driver's Seat Chartiers Valley Puts Together 'Puzzle Pieces' for a Winning Formula

Article excerpt

The hardest part of piecing together a puzzle is the beginning.

It takes a lot of time and patience, especially starting from scratch.

It's no different for a baseball team.

For Chartiers Valley, coach Jim Jaskowski has been searching for the perfect pieces to the puzzle. The Colts began the season 1-2 but smoothed out the kinks in their lineup to the tune of a 12-3 overall record and a perfect 8-0 mark in Class AAA Section 3. They have clinched at least a tie for the section title.

"Honestly, it was putting the pieces to the puzzle together," said Jaskowski, in his ninth season as the Colts coach. "Seeing who fits where. We experimented a lot and we just needed to gain experience."

The Colts really hit their stride once section season started, winning eight of their past nine games with the only loss coming outside of section play against Elizabeth Forward.

With two section games left on the calendar through Tuesday, the Colts still have an opportunity to accomplish one of the hardest feats in any sport -- perfection.

"It's really hard [to go unbeaten]," Jaskowski said. "It's hard with three or four games a week to have the pitching. It is hard to have your best game every game. There is always some bad luck or a hot pitcher you run into. To stay on that consistency is very hard."

Even though Jaskowski agreed that it would be pretty cool to accomplish that, his primary goal is to win the section title, undefeated or not.

"Right now we are focused on winning the section," said Jaskowski, a 1991 Bethel Park High School graduate and a longtime standout in the Greater Pittsburgh Federation League in semipro baseball. "We are starting off with the smaller goal and hoping to reach the bigger one after that."

"Taking each game's best punch is part of the consistency. They practice hard. We haven't had a game where we questioned their focus. It is not always easy to do to get your kids up to play and that is impressive on their part."

The Colts are coming off one of their more impressive victories of the season, a shutout win at Keystone Oaks in what Jaskowski called, "a playoff atmosphere type of game. …

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