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The Chambersburg and Southern Fulton baseball teams both open play in the PIAA Tournament on Monday, but they could hardly be in more different geographic circumstances.

The Trojans (15-9) have to travel nearly three hours to face Wyoming Valley West (14-1) at the Pittston Area Primary Center at 4 p.m. in the opening round of the Class AAAA tournament, while the Indians (22-2) face off against Millersburg (17-6) in Class A at McConnellsburg – which is less than a half-hour drive – at 4:30.

"I don't think we've ever had to travel this far for a game," Chambersburg coach Bob Thomas said. "We're not going to take it all in one shot; we're going to break it up a bit and stop in between.

"In the past when we've traveled far for games, we've usually done well. Hopefully that continues."

The Trojans were the runner-up in District 3 after a 6-5 loss to Hempfield in the final. The biggest key for Chambersburg, which went into the playoffs as the 10th seed, has been its offense. Throughout the playoffs, the Trojans are averaging seven runs per game, compared to just 4.45 runs per game during the regular season.

Thomas said, "The biggest thing for us is that we've been hitting well lately. Our pitching has been there all season, so hopefully our offense can keep it going and our defense plays well also."

Wyoming Valley West won District 2, and will also bring some offensive firepower to the game. Ryan Hogan, the catcher, is batting .578 with five home runs, 20 RBIs, four doubles and three triples, and Bill Gregory is batting .455. Gregory is also 5-0 on the mound with a 1.02 earned run average.

"We don't really know much about them or their competition, but we know they have some good players," Thomas said. "They don't seem to be much of a running team, and they don't seem to have any flamethrowers on the mound."

For the Trojans, Tristan Daywalt (6-0) will get the start on the mound. He sports a 1.47 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 62 innings. Drew Betz will be available in relief.

While Chambersburg is using its ace in the opening round, Southern Fulton, which won District 5-A, will go with its No. 2 pitcher, Connor Litton, who was clocked in the low 90s on the radar gun in the district final last week.

"We were discussing whether to go with him or (Trent) Rider, and Connor told everyone that he's got the mound," Indian coach Dustin Fischer said. "Plus, we like to give Trent four days of rest and he would be pitching on three, and Connor is very good. We are confident with him in the mound."

Millersburg, which was second in District 3, doesn't appear to pack much punch on the offensive side. It has just two players batting over .300, and five of its expected starters have batting averages under .220.

"We don't want to look into their stats too much, because we don't know what kind of competition they face," Fischer said. "Our biggest key will be to stay focused and play the way we know how."

Offensively, the Indians will be looking to get all of their bats going. They've averaged just over six runs per game in districts, but Fischer is still looking for the whole team to come together.

He said, "We've had some guys that aren't hitting the way they have all season, but I think they're coming around and are ready for Monday."

But Southern Fulton's biggest advantage may be in location – it is playing just down the road in McConnellsburg.

"It's pretty much like a home game for us," Fischer said. "We love the field, the players love the field and a lot of them play Legion ball right there.

"Southern Fulton has always been known for its basketball, but I think we're finally starting to get more people to watch baseball. It's great to see all of the support we've gotten so far, and we want to keep it going."

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