Donn Roach and Paul Sewald easily could have left their Bishop Gorman teammates by now.
But instead of settling in at the Division I universities where their baseball futures are set, both right-handed pitchers vowed to finish the summer with Gorman.
It has paid off in a big way for Gorman, which opens the American Legion Western Regional tournament against Tucson (Ariz.) at 5 p.m. today in Surprise, Ariz.
“This is a family group I like playing with,” said Sewald, who will play next year at San Diego. “I’ve never been to North Carolina. I thought this is my best chance.”
To get to Shelby, N.C., for the Aug. 21 to 26 American Legion World Series, Gorman will have to survive an eight-team regional that includes Southern California champion Covina (27-2) and Utah champion Taylorsville (22-2).
Gorman (65-7-1), which plays during the summer as the Southern Nevada Titans, reached the regional with a 17-10 win over Sierra Vista in the state tournament title game Saturday. The Titans are gunning for their first World Series berth since 2006 — when Sewald and Roach were wide-eyed sophomores.
“I would love nothing more than to end my high school career playing against the best talent in the country,” said Roach, who has signed with Arizona.
Roach (3-0, 2.62 ERA) and Sewald (3-0, 3.39) are only two cogs in a pitching staff that has combined for seven shutouts and 28 complete games.
Jeff Malm (.577, 78 RBIs), Johnny Field (19 home runs, 102 RBIs) and Joey Rickard (.445, 18 homers) are among the Titans’ offensive leaders.
Malm, who is slugging .984, has been tabbed for Sunday’s Under Armour All-America Game in Chicago, but the junior first baseman will skip the showcase event if Gorman can advance past Saturday.
The double-elimination regional runs through Monday.
“We’re set up good for the regional,” Titans coach Chris Sheff said. “If we play like we did all summer and the state tournament, we have a great opportunity to go to the World Series.”
An opportunity right-hander Scott Dysinger (5-0, 0.94) has been eagerly awaiting since he tore his rotator cuff in January, shelving his freshman season at College of Southern Nevada.
Dysinger also was on the 2006 team that reached the World Series before going 0-2.
“We made it there two years ago and didn’t do well,” Dysinger said. “This year, I would like to have that run again but with a better ending.”
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203.