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Trib Cup: For 2-time defending PIAA champion Riverside, focus is on next pitch

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Class AAAA

1. North Allegheny 241

2. Peters Township 170

3. Canon-McMillan 124

4. Upper St. Clair 124

5. Mt. Lebanon 121

6. Penn-Trafford 117

7. Bethel Park 112

8. Hempfield 105

9. Fox Chapel 104

10. Moon 98

11t. Pine-Richland 88

11t. Seneca Valley 88

13. Chartiers Valley 87

Class AAA

1. Mars 149

2. South Park 132

3. Quaker Valley 128

4. South Fayette 111

5. Central Valley 105

6. Hopewell 100

7t. Beaver 82

7t. Elizabeth Forward 82

7t. Montour 82

10. Indiana 81

11. West Allegheny 73

12. West Mifflin 72

Class AA

1. Grensburg C.C. 166

2. Bishop Canevin 136

3. Burrell 111

4. Seton-La Salle 108

5. Shady Side Acad. 88

6. Beaver Falls 86

7. Neshannock 83

8. Riverside 74

9. Chartiers-Houston 65

10. Bentworth 63

11. Washington 61

12t. Avonworth 59

12t. Deer Lakes 59

12t. Jeannette 59

Class A

1. Sewickley Academy 121

2. Vincentian Acad. 120

3. Clairton 83

4. OLSH 79

5. Serra Catholic 77

6. Aliquippa 57

7. North Catholic 56

8. Riverview 52

9. Jefferson-Morgan 48

10. California 46

11. Carmichaels 45


Section victories: 1 point

Playoff berth: 1

Playoff victory: 2

WPIAL/PIAA runner-up: 5/15

WPIAL/PIAA title: 10/20

Results for fall sports, winter sports, baseball, softball and boys volleyball.

+ Classification based on PIAA enrollment figures

Not including Thursday's games.

Top high school sports
By Brian Graham
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 11:40 p.m.

The two-time defending PIAA champion Riverside baseball team is not talking about a three-peat.

Coach Don Oliastro is pleased with the 9-3 record and 6-2 mark in Section 5-AA, but the veteran doesn't want his group looking ahead.

“You have to go one pitch every inning at a time,” Oliastro said. “You can't look ahead and think you're gonna get somewhere if you didn't do the work behind it.

“We don't talk about (three-peats), but I'm sure the kids have thought about it. We just try to get better every time out.”

This week, the Panthers baseball team is featured for its role in helping Riverside to an eighth-place standing in Class AA for the Trib Total Media/WPXI High School Sports Award.

The Panthers have a knack for getting on base at the top of the order. Leadoff hitter Devin Kelosky (.316), Tyler Falk and his team-high .541 batting average and 15 RBI, and Dylan Jones (.422) have given Riverside the base runners it has needed to score early and often.

Ross Maietta, who's batting .420, surprised Oliastro with his ability early on and has secured a spot in the lineup as the designated hitter.

“We're expecting them to get on base and get home,” Oliastro said. “I think we just have to do a better job of driving them home. You can't leave a ton of guys on base.”

The Panthers' pitching staff is deep, and it has been solid.

Led by Blaise McCarty and Falk, both 3-1, Riverside, which has outscored teams, 74-30, hasn't given the opposition many opportunities to score runs.

Mitch Connolly and Jason Pettner have thrust their names into the equation after several solid outings and have shown Oliastro they can take the ball during crucial scenarios.

“They aren't moved by their record,” said Oliastro, who has a career mark of 547-376 in 44 years at Riverside.

“Being a veteran team, they've been around the block and understand one game isn't going to make your season. They just keep plugging along to try to get better and hopefully get into the playoffs and really peak.”

Oliastro said Section 5-AA may be the deepest, most difficult section in the state, and to win it will be a task.

After two losses to Beaver this year, including an 8-6 loss Monday, Oliastro knows it will take a near-perfect second half to lock up the section crown.

“We thought if we could be 6-2 at the end of the first half, we'd be in contention to win the section,” he said.

“We hit some bumps, but we're working because you can't take anything for granted.”

Oliastro has won multiple state titles, and he knows what it'll take to return to the title game. He said the recipe is simple, and it's something he's stressed to his players.

“I just want to be consistent and play good defense,” he said. “Past teams we've had that have won it consistently played good defense.

“Really in any sport, if you play great defense you can win a lot of ball games just by playing great defense.”

Brian Graham is a freelance writer.



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