Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Murrysville Gets off to Torrid Beginning

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Murrysville Gets off to Torrid Beginning

Article excerpt

Break up the Murrysville American Legion Post 711 baseball team!

One gets the feeling if the rest of the Westmoreland American Legion could, they would. Prior to Wednesday's scheduled game at Mount Pleasant, Murrysville was 7-0 in Westmoreland County League play and 9-0 overall.

Their margins of victory read like New York Yankees victories in the 1960 World Series, or Milwaukee Brewers triumphs over the Pittsburgh Pirates during the John Russell era if one prefers a more contemporary reference. Before Wednesday's game, Murrysville manager Gus Bondi's team had outscored their Westmoreland opponents by a whopping 87-2.

"They don't have a problem getting up for any game," Bondi said. "I preach this is a gift. You're playing a game for a successful program with your parents watching on a nice field. And it could end tomorrow or when you're a senior. Make the most of it."

Many Murrysville players have been "making the most of it" for nearly a decade under Bondi.

"The majority of this team, the core part of it, has been together since they were 9 . . . Little League tournaments - all of it," third-base coach Nick Falce said. "They've been playing baseball together for the last 10 years."

"Pitching wins ballgames" is a baseball proverb, but this core veteran group of five consists of both position players and pitchers.

Second baseman John Bondi and catcher/pitcher Anthony Falce are coach's sons who are at the center of Murrysville's strength up the middle.

So are fellow senior Ryan Grieco in center field and top starting pitchers Justin Johnson and Alex Gessinger.

John Bondi, a WPIAL all-star at Franklin Regional who was batting .425 through nine games, is slated to play at John Carroll University in Cleveland next season, while Johnston, a left-handed starter who has yet to be relieved this season, will play at La Roche. …

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