YOUTH BASEBALL Guts, determination propel Babe Ruth All-Stars
Manager Tony Gorvet played on the area's first World Series champions in 1990.
By JOHN KOVACH
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Manager Tony Gorvet of Youngstown sees similarities between his 1990 Youngstown Babe Ruth League 13-15 All-Star team that won a World Series championship, and the current version of the squad that has qualified for upcoming 2004 World Series.
That bodes well for the current 14-player team that went undefeated to win the Ohio championship in Zanesville and the regional title in Matune, Ill., to qualify for the World Series that will begin Thursday in Longview, Wash.
"This team reminds me a lot of that 1990 team because they [both] were gutsy teams, always in the game, and they would never quit and always were fighters, although this team probably has more raw talent and more pitching," said Gorvet, whose 1990 team was the first Youngstown team ever to win a Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series.
"We were guests at the White House with [President George] Bush in the Rose Garden."
8-0 so far in meet
Gorvet said this year's squad, which represents Youngstown's 10-team league, is undefeated through eight games primarily because it has displayed a never-say-die attitude by coming from behind to win the last three games of the regional.
He also said that outstanding pitching and defense have been hallmarks of the current team that consists of Marc Gorvet (Youngstown), Chuck Olesky, Joe Koch and Steven Gruver (Austintown), Tony Brunetti and Mike Hoezel (Canfield), Dom Silvestri (Boardman), Frank Rosile (Hubbard), Nick Turco and Jesse Moses (New Castle), Cameron Konop (Hermitage), Matt Dado (Shenango), Cory Collins (Laurel) and Matt Katich (Mohawk).
"We hit the ball pretty well in the state [four wins in Zanesville] but not too well in the regional [four wins in Matune]. We hit when we had to. The pitching gets tougher as you progress in the tourney," said Gorvet, who is assisted by Don Brunetti and Terry Landis.
All three men are from the Rondinelli's team in the league.
"Terry Landis was my assistant 14 years ago [on the 1990 team]," noted Gorvet.
Another factor in the team's success is that nine of the players -- Collins , Dado, Turco, Hoelzel, Rosile, Moses , Brunetti, Olesky and Katich -- were on last year's Youngstown team, which won the 14-year-old World Series in Quincy, Mass.
But grim determination to win has preserved Youngstown so far.
After Collins pitched a no-hit, 4-0 win over Breckenridge County (Ky.) in the regional opener, Youngstown had to rally past New Albany Ind. (7-3) and Lexington (Ky.), twice, 5-3 and 4-2 in 8 innings, in the final.
Katich's bases loaded-double keyed the comeback win over New Albany. And in the regional final, Youngstown scored the go-ahead run on Moses' bases-loaded walk that scored Collins, while Rosile's single accounted for the final run.
Gorvet said his team will leave for Longview Wednesday from Pittsburgh International Airport. Youngstown's opening game is Saturday at 10 a.m. against Cranston, R.I., which is the New England regional champion.
He noted there are 12 teams in the World Series, six each in two divisions; and that each team will play at least four games. The top three teams in each division go to the finals.
All 12 teams will be getting the red-carpet treatment.
"The Babe Ruth League Headquarters in Trenton, N.J., pays for all the air fare and transportation, and players are housed by area families," said Gorvet.