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.




 Arnold Legion Headed to Game 3

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By Dave Yohe
for the Valley News Dispatch
Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Arnold Legion baseball team has faced elimination games in its previous two playoff series. This series will be more of the same as Arnold faces yet another Game 3. West Hempfield defeated Arnold, 6-2, Monday at Valley High School to force a deciding game in the best-of-three District 31 championship series. "We certainly played to win the game, not just not to lose," Arnold manager Doug Aftanas said. Arnold was the No.1 seed in the Northwest division, and West Hempfield was the No. 1 seed in the Southeast division in the district.  West Hempfield scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a six-run lead. A lead-off walk was followed by a trip to the mound by Aftanas to talk with his starting pitcher Joe Veltri. Veltri was throwing on two-days' rest after throwing 10 1/3 innings in Game 3 on Friday against Irwin. "I still felt Veltri was strong," Aftanas said.


Veltri gave up a single to Dan Norris and a bunt single to Mike Ferrara to load the bases for a West Hempfield team in a familiar position. "They have been like that all year," said West Hempfield manager Bob Stokes. "They are a late-inning team." West Hempfield defeated Derry, 2-1, in the best-of-three series, then swept Latrobe 2-0, in the following round. Arnold went to a final game in each series against Armstrong Central and Irwin.


"I don't ask a whole lot of these kids," Stokes said. "They are so resilient. I just sat back and enjoyed it." Arnold tried to make a charge, but fell short after posting two runs. "I told our players that they have been in this situation other times in the season," Aftanas said. "They have a no-quit attitude." Anthony Campana singled in a run, and Chuck Swanger drove in another run on a sacrifice fly. "Arnold is a good team," Stokes said. "You would expect them to fight back." Arnold could not muster any more offense from West Hempfield's starting pitcher Steven Dubich.


Dubich struck out 10 batters, and helped to leave 10 runners on base for Arnold, taking away what Arnold likes to do best. "We predicate ourselves on putting the ball in play," Aftanas said. Dubich was given the pitching duties after West Hempfield's pitching ace, Brandon Gnesda, suffered an ankle injury in Game 1. 


Anthony Campana is likely to pitch for Arnold on Wednesday in Game 3. He has thrown complete-game wins in the past two deciding games for Arnold. Despite the high stakes between the two teams, both coaches, and their teams, share a mutual respect for the other.


"The better team is going to State College," Stokes said. "It is the way it should be."