In its first season competing in Beaver County’s American Legion league, RiverCity, a group consisting of mostly WPIAL and PIAA championship players from Ellwood City and Riverside, could not secure a championship as a combined squad.
RiverCity was defeated by a tough Hopewell team, 5-4, in the final matchup of the Beaver County Legion championship finals on Sunday. Hopewell swept the series, 3-0.
It was fitting, though, that Hopewell would win this year’s legion title, as it was the integral year that the trophy would be named after long-time Hopewell coach and winning legend, Joseph Colella.
Colella died last September with over 1,600 combined wins between high school and American Legion baseball.
RiverCity held the game close and stretched it into the eighth inning. Some good small-ball combined with an error, RiverCity was defeated in their first year as a team made up of rival players.
Exhaustion was evident on the RiverCity bench, though. For many of the players on the RiverCity team, they are now done playing baseball after some 5 months of consecutive play.
Ellwood City and Riverside shared the Section 5-AA title with 12-2 records. Ellwood City went on to beat Riverside, 9-7, in the WPIAL championship game but lost in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. Riverside made a run through the state playoffs, capturing the Class AA championship and finishing the season 22-6.