Penn Hills 12U baseball team rolling through tournament season
The Penn Hills 12U travel baseball team has been together for a handful of years, and the players have learned the importance of a team effort in order to have success.
The team has participated in four tournaments this summer and won each one. The team consists of all Penn Hills residents and members of the Penn Hills Baseball Association.
The team has received strong performances on the mound and at the plate. Penn Hills ranked toward the top in each tournament in runs scored and runs against. Through the four tournaments, Penn Hills outscored opponents 186-47 in 21 games.
“Its been 100 percent a team effort from top to bottom. There isn’t one kid that carries this team,” coach Joe Pizzuli said.
“The players are fundamentally sound on offense and defense while extremely aggressive in the base running aspect.”
Penn Hills won the South West Travel League tournament after defeating Avonworth, 8-3, in the championship game. The second tournament win came after a 6-3 win over Franklin Regional in the Penn Township Summer Slam.
The 12U travel baseball team defeated Derry, 8-7, in the championship game of the Franklin Regional tournament to capture a third tournament win, and beat Baldwin, 12-3, in the Monroeville tournament to bring home a fourth title this season.
Penn Hills has been led by Lenny Duncan and John Hughes on the mound and offensively, and has gotten strong pitching from Chyno Spearman.
Kenny Boyle, Braden Boss and Connor Lehman have made strong contributions at the plate.
“I’ve had a majority of these kids since they were 7 years old, and they have always had success, but it seems like this year everything just clicked,” Pizzuli said.
“I’ve coached a lot of teams, and I haven’t seen a team as successful as this team. They just jell as a team.”
The nucleus of the team has won at every level along the way. The team has collected 13 championships and one runner-up throughout the years.
Penn Hills will look to earn another championship when it participates in the Golden Spikes Classic, a 10-team tournament that consists of teams from throughout the nation July 27-29, in Sandusky, Ohio.
“We, as coaches, just told them to enjoy the moment, and they have the skills to go as far as anybody,” Pizzuli said.
Prior to the travel schedule, the team was split into two teams in order to participate in the Shaler Area Little League recreation schedule.
Pizzuli coached the Penn Hills Red team, while the other half of the team was on the Penn Hills Grey team.
At the end of the Little League schedule, the Penn Hills Red team was crowned champions of the Shaler Area Little League after entering the playoffs as the third seed.
Pizzuli expressed his intentions to keep coaching the team as they progressed through the ranks.