No. 3 seed Riverview emerges as baseball playoff frontrunner
By Bill West
Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
During the past decade, few WPIAL baseball programs proved better at posting upsets in the playoffs than Riverview.
There was the 2001 team that, as a No. 8 seed, toppled No. 1 Carmichaels in the quarterfinals on its way to the WPIAL Class A championship game.
The 2007 squad stormed from the No. 11 slot to reach the WPIAL Class AA semifinals.
And most notably, Riverview, one of four teams subjected to a play-in game in 2010, stunned No. 1 seed and returning PIAA Class AA finalist South Fayette in the first round.
Any playoff victories accumulated by the Raiders this spring won't receive the upset label, though, as Riverview (14-2) enters the WPIAL Class A postseason with a No. 3 seed. WPIAL officials released the pairings for all four classifications Thursday afternoon. First-round games begin Monday.
“Our history shows that as a No. 1 or 17 or whatever, you can get beat,” Riverview coach Rich Griser said. “I think how we're approaching this is that we're going to face good teams along the way and we know anything can happen, because just look what happened with us.”
The section champion Raiders, who open against No. 14 Rochester (6-8) at 2 p.m. Monday at Fox Chapel, are back in Class A for the first time since 2004. That season's team grabbed a less favorable seed, No. 8, and exited with a first-round loss. Griser described this year's No. 3 spot as affirmation of what the Raiders believed all spring.
“It's kind of a respect that's been paid to us, and now (the players) are letting that motivate them,” Griser said. “It's like, ‘OK, we have to go after this hard.' ”
WPIAL officials delivered two bits of good news to Deer Lakes (15-3): Not only did the Lancers get the No. 4 seed in Class AA, they ended up on the opposite side of the bracket from Riverside.
Riverside, the No. 3 seed and a two-time defending PIAA champion, eliminated Deer Lakes in the quarterfinals each of the last two seasons.
Unbeaten in section play this season, Deer Lakes, which opens against No. 13 Seton-La Salle (8-8), will look to surpass the achievements of the 2011 and 2012 teams, both of which also secured section titles.
“This year, we feel like we can not only contend with those (top) teams but beat those teams and contend for the WPIAL,” senior Kevin Begley said earlier this season. “I think that we have a little bit of a different mindset. … We expect to make noise in the playoffs now.”
In Class AAAA, Plum (14-6) received the No. 10 seed and a first-round matchup with No. 7 Shaler (11-9), the Section 4 co-champion.
The Mustangs hope the agreeable matchup will help them escape their opening-round rut. Each of the last four seasons, they lost their opening game. Two were upsets. Before that, the 2008 team reached the finals.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn-Trafford hurler Smith among area’s best
- Ligonier Valley baseball learning to win close games
- Serra freshman tosses no-hitter to down Monessen
- Trib Total Media high school baseball, softball rankings
- Rawlins, Hounds perfect in 12-0 win
- Ringgold gives Piccolino first win
- California’s Luko throws no-hitter
- Monessen collapses late against Canevin
- Norwin deals No. 1 Penn-Trafford 1st loss
- Daily News roundup: West Mifflin rolls past TJ for Section 4 win
- Brownsville knocks off Charleroi, 6-3