Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

League Champs Seek a National Title Repeat Federation League Baseball

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

League Champs Seek a National Title Repeat Federation League Baseball

Article excerpt

St. Johns-Lefty's didn't have its typical regular season.

In fact, for the first time in nine years, the Saints failed to win the Greater Pittsburgh Federation League regular-season title. That honor went to the Steel City Black Sox.

But St. Johns-Lefty's seems to be hitting its stride, sweeping Bellevue and Steel City to win its 13th postseason league title in 15 years, The Saints' hot streak couldn't come at a better time, since the National Amateur Baseball Federation World Series started last night in Battle Creek, Mich.

"We had some lulls during the season -- either games we shouldn't have lost or games where not all our guys could make it -- and so we didn't do as well as we thought we would," Saints coach Tom McCarthy said. "But it was nice to have that five-game winning streak in the playoffs.

"We have a renewed energy. We've been looking forward to Battle Creek all year. Now we know who we're playing so let's go play."

The Saints were able to look ahead to the NABF World Series throughout the entire season because they automatically qualified for the event by virtue of winning the national title last season, the program's first.

So the Saints didn't have to worry about qualifying for regionals (by gaining a top-three spot in league) or winning last week's regional tournament title to gain entry into the World Series.

McCarthy said that contributed to the Saints not playing as well during the regular season, finishing second with four losses after not losing a game in the Greater Pittsburgh Federation League the previous season.

"It took a lot of the urgency for the regular season out of the picture," McCarthy said. …

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