No big surprises locally in WPIAL playoff brackets
The WPIAL released its baseball and softball playoff brackets and there were no real surprises for local teams.
In baseball, Belle Vernon Area (11-8) will meet fourth-seeded Chartiers Valley (16-4) at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Upper St. Clair, and Elizabeth Forward (13-6) takes on fifth-seeded Keystone Oaks (14-4) at 2:30 p.m. Monday at West Mifflin in first round games in Class AAA.
Also in AAA, Yough (9-10) will take on Knoch (9-9) in a preliminary-round game Saturday at Shaler with a noon start.
In Class AA, Bentworth (10-5) meets second-seeded Beaver (13-3) at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Chartiers Valley.
In Class A, Monessen (6-10) will make its first playoff appearance in 27 years against second-seeded OLSH (16-2) at 2 p.m. Monday at Burgettstown, and California (15-4), the sixth seed, meets Sewickley Academy (10-5) at 4:30 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader Monday at Burgettstown.
Frazier (7-11), which picked up its playoff ticket when Monessen lost its final section game, will meet fourth-seeded Carmichaels (12-3) at 4:30 p.m., Monday at Mt. Pleasant.
One of the more interesting aspects of the AAA brackets is that BVA and EF, foes in Section 4 where they finished tied for third, will meet in the second round if they post upset wins.
“The pairings are pretty much what I expected, but I am surprised that the WPIAL put us, EF, South Park and Thomas Jefferson all on the same side of the bracket,” said BVA coach Dan Palm. “They usually don't do that. Maybe they don't want teams from the same section meeting in the finals.”
As for playing Char Valley, Palm already knows about the Colts.
“They knocked us out of the playoffs two years ago and a couple kids on that team for them are their stars this year,” he said. “We will have our work cut out for us. It all starts on Monday.”
California coach Don Hartman said he was not surprised and he expected the uncharacteristically low seed.
“I like where we are in the brackets,” Hartman said. “We are a six seed and we didn't win our section, so we probably deserve that. “
Hartman said there is one team — Avella — that played both California and SA.
While the Trojans beat Avella twice, SA lost to the Eagles, 6-5, in the season opener.
In softball, EF (16-4) garnered the fourth seed and will meet New Castle (8-6) 5 p.m. Thursday at Fairhaven Park in Class AAA.
In AA, Bentworth (9-8) goes up against third-seeded Riverside (15-0) 3 p.m. Tuesday at Fairhaven Park.
In Class A, Frazier (16-2) takes the No. 4 seed to Hempfield Thursday for a 2 p.m. first round game against Vincentian (8-5).
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.