Stokes Quotes

Champions aren't made in the gyms.  Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.




Latrobe Legion halts West Hempfield


The West Hempfield Legion baseball team has shown a penchant recently for coming back to win games in its final at-bat.

Latrobe made sure it didn't become the most recent addition to the late-inning heroics, as Chris Trombetta had an RBI double and scored a run as part of a two-run fifth to lead the Jethawks to a 3-1 victory over West Hempfield at Legion Keener Field.

"You try and construct a lineup in such a way to put kids in a position to succeed, and when we needed to string some real good at-bats together, we did," Latrobe coach Jason Bush said. "We quit trying to do a little bit too much and were square on the ball where it was pitched, and Trombetta had the big double in that inning to set it up."

Max Henry picked up the win, frustrating West Hempfield throughout. The only run against him scored on a wild pitch during a suicide squeeze.

"That kid threw a heck of a baseball game," West Hempfield coach Bob Stokes said. "He threw a lot of strikes and offspeed stuff, and we just didn't get a big hit when we needed one with two outs. And they ran a couple plays we didn't defend well."

The game was certainly a departure from the excitement of West Hempfield's recent late-game comebacks. In three of its wins this season, it has won in the bottom of the seventh in its final plate appearance.

"We're just getting contributions from everybody right now," Stokes said. "Now that vacations are over, I'm expecting up to get on a little bit of a roll."

Maybe the timeliest contribution came during Monday's home victory over Unity at Lint Field.

Trailing, 3-0, heading into the bottom of the seventh, West Hempfield worked the bases loaded for the team's lone 19-year-old, Christian Hensler, who crushed the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence for a walk-off grand slam and a 4-3 victory.

"I've never hit a walk-off, and it felt real good," Hensler said. "I just wanted to put the ball in play mostly and try to score as many runs as I could. I got a good swing on the ball, and it went over."

Of course, it helped that the players in front of him were able to set up the situation. Brennan Rahl walked, then Tim Norris and winning pitcher Zach Zimmerman were hit by pitches to load the bases.

"We were scrappy to get a guy on with a walk and a couple hit-batsmen, and they switched pitchers. And the first pitch he threw, my kid hits a grand slam," Stokes said. "It was pretty exciting to win with a walk-off home run up there."  And a memory that Hensler won't soon forget.  "I've had home runs and hits before but not game-winning hits," Hensler said. "I went around the bases pretty fast. A Unity player came up and congratulated me (Tuesday) and said my eyes were like dinner plates."

2016 - Cory Hegedus
2015 - Eric Loucks
2014 - Grant Fox
2013 - Tyler Lilja
2012 - Anthony Fanelli
2011 - Zach Zimmerman
2010 - Tim Norris
2009 - Jon Murphy
2008 - Dan Norris
2007 - Zack Martin
2006 - Mike Harvat
2005 - Brandon Gnesda
2004 - Dave Campbell
2003 - Tyler Anderson
2002 - Eric Floriani