Bishop Canevin duo represents Class A at WPIAL all-star game
To be named to the WPIAL Baseball Coaches Association all-star game is an honor showing a player's hard work and dedication to the diamond.
Bishop Canevin had two players make the squad. Nico DiPaolo and Jim Dlugos represented the Crusaders at the event Sunday at Burkett Field in Robinson.
“It really shows how hard the coaching staff has worked trying to improve us as players,” Dlugos said. “It makes you feel a lot of pride. It shows the talent we had on the team this season.”
The Class A and AA squads battled to a 4-4 tie. Class A took a two-run lead in the bottom of the eighth as a double from North Catholic's Ryan Peluso and a single from Western Beaver's Robert DiMaggio put it ahead.
But a two-run triple from Washington's Jordan Allen tied the score up in the top of the ninth. Organizers of the event decided before the game that it would end after nine innings, regardless of the score.
“It was a huge honor to play in this game,” Dlugos said. “When you come out and see the best players Class AA and A has to offer, you realize how much talent there is out there.
“To be considered one of those players is pretty special.”
While playing with and against the best the WPIAL has to offer was a rewarding experience, playing with a teammate they shared the dugout with the past four seasons made the event a little more special for the pair.
“It was nice to get one last game in together,” DiPaolo said. “It would've been nice to get the win but it was still a good game.”
Bishop Canevin finished the season with an 8-6 overall record and a 7-3 mark in Section 2-A, finishing in second-place.
The Crusaders defeated Vincentian Academy, 16-1, in the opening round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs before falling to Serra Catholic, 10-1, in the quarterfinals.
“We would of liked to have gone further,” DiPaolo said. “But with the lack of experience we had, we did really well. It was a great time.”
The game signaled an end for the career of Dlugos, who will attend Penn State in the fall and study finance.
“I will be the fifth one in my family to go,” Dlugos said. “I have always wanted to go there.”
DiPaolo, meanwhile, is looking forward to a playing career at Gannon. To get ready for his collegiate debut, he will play with the Seneca Valley squad in the Western Pennsylvania Elite Baseball League.
The WPEBL is a summer league that offers a chance for the top players in the area to play against other players looking to play at the collegiate level.
“It is especially going to help me in a pitching aspect,” DiPaolo said. “It will get better acclimated with what I will need to do in college. It should be a real help.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.