| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Breaking down the WPIAL baseball playoffs

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Seneca Valley's Connor Coward pitches against North Allegheny on April 25, 2013. The Raiders are the defending WPIAL champions in Class AAAA and are a favorite to repeat this year.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, May 9, 2013, 11:09 p.m.

Breaking down the WPIAL baseball playoffs



THE FAVORITE Seneca Valley (16-3), the two-time defending champion, used 15 straight wins to establish itself as the team to beat. CF Jonathan Dorogy, 2B Sam Fragale and C Brad Gresock also started the past two title runs. Carson Kessler is hitting .474 and Zach Spangler is batting .425 this season for the Raiders.

THE CONTENDERS A one-run loss to Seneca Valley was the only blemish for North Allegheny (16-4) during its final 13 games. Section 2 champion Hempfield (17-3), led by pitchers Greg Martin and Zack Martinelli, enters the playoffs having beaten three other section winners — Central Catholic (16-4), Pine-Richland (15-4) and Canon-McMillan (11-7) — in the past two weeks. Central Catholic won Section 3 behind senior 3B P.J. DeMeo, a Pitt recruit. Pine-Richland, the 2010 champion, shared the Section 4 title with Shaler (11-9).

DON'T OVERLOOK Franklin Regional (16-3) has won eight consecutive, including wins over Central Catholic, 17-16, and Plum, 2-0.

PREDICTION Seneca Valley over North Allegheny



THE FAVORITE South Park (20-0) could become the third undefeated Class AAA champion in the past seven seasons, joining Elizabeth Forward (21-0 in 2011) and West Allegheny (23-0 in 2007). The Eagles have seven players batting better than .350, including Nick Yobbi (.525), who along with Jake Bywalski are leading pitchers.

THE CONTENDERS Led by SS Ryan Cox, a St. Bonaventure recruit, Hopewell (17-3) could win a second title in four years. Hampton (17-2) was undefeated in Section 5, and its only WPIAL loss was to Class AAAA Seneca Valley, 1-0, on April 22. After a 12-1 start, Chartiers Valley (16-4) lost three of its final seven to share the Section 3 title with Keystone Oaks (14-4).

DON'T OVERLOOK Blackhawk (9-6), the 2012 champion, has junior lefty Brendan McKay, who creates a tough matchup.

PREDICTION Hampton over South Park



THE FAVORITE Riverside (15-3), the two-time defending state champion, could reach the WPIAL title game for the third straight season, led by seniors Tyler Falk, Dylan Jones and Blaise McCarty. Riverside was WPIAL runner-up to rival Ellwood City last year.

THE CONTENDERS Led by Radford pitching recruit Austin Ross, Beaver (13-3) beat Riverside twice in Section 5 play, where both finished with 12-2 records. Beaver lost twice to section foe Neshannock (12-6), the WPIAL Class A champion in 2011 and 2012, which missed this year's playoffs. Quaker Valley (17-0), the Section 1 winner, was one of only two undefeated teams in the WPIAL. Deer Lakes (15-3), undefeated in Section 3, lost to Riverside in the 2012 quarterfinals. The Lancers won 14 of 15 down the stretch.

DON'T OVERLOOK Laurel (9-7) has one of Class AA's top pitchers in Brandon Ritchie, a George Washington recruit. Led by Garrett Brooks (.600), 12th seed Greensburg Central Catholic (11-4) has won five straight games and nine of its last 10.

PREDICTION Beaver over Deer Lakes



THE FAVORITE Serra Catholic (16-1), the WPIAL champion in 2009 and ‘10, lost only once this season, to Class AAA's Elizabeth Forward. Serra Catholic has been the top seed in the tournament three of the past four seasons, but in 2012, the team was seeded fifth and lost to OLSH in the second round — the team's earliest exit since a first-round loss to Geibel in 2006.

THE CONTENDERS Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (16-2) has won 15 straight, led by Preston Falascino, a Slippery Rock recruit who's batting .540. The Chargers reached last year's semifinals. Riverview (14-2), led by Akron recruit Anthony Malky, shared the Section 4 title with North Catholic (10-4). Malky was the WPIAL's strikeout leader. Western Beaver (14-2) was undefeated in Section 3 at 12-0, led by junior Nick Miller. Carmichaels (12-3) won Section 1 but ended the regular season with a loss to California.

DON'T OVERLOOK California (15-4) was runner-up to Neshannock in last year's title game.

PREDICTION OLSH over Serra Catholic

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. McCutchen, Pirates cruise past Twins
  2. Steelers unfazed by Brady suspension saga
  3. Beaver County widow won’t lose home over $6.30 late fee
  4. Housing Authority to treat Brookline senior complex for bedbugs
  5. Judge adds 2 years to sentence of Baldwin Borough man acquitted of murder
  6. Police: Scottdale man had child porn on computer
  7. Power out at UPMC Mercy, hospital operating on backup generators
  8. Gibsonia’s Saad shows off Stanley Cup at 911th Airlift Wing
  9. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  10. Plum High School teacher held for court on charges of intimidation
  11. Sewickley Twp. man who received food stamps didn’t disclose gas royalties