WPIAL baseball tournament preview
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WPIAL baseball tournament
No. 6 Freeport (11-5) vs. No. 11 Riverside (11-5)
3 p.m. Tuesday at Shaler
Winner plays: No. 3 Steel Valley (14-2)/No. 14 Apollo-Ridge (7-7)
Extra bases: Freeport split the Section 3-AA title with Deer Lakes. The Yellowjackets scored 10-plus runs in eight of their wins. Senior Matt Swartz and Noah Shannon provide much of the power in the batting order. Junior Matt VanTine and sophomore Nathan Pastorek anchor the pitching rotation. … Riverside tied for second in Section 5-AA. Seniors Ross Maietta (.471 batting average, five home runs, 10 doubles) and Jason Pettner (,382 batting average, seven doubles, one home run) star at the plate for the Panthers, who won PIAA titles in 2011 and 2012.
No. 5 Deer Lakes (14-4) vs. No. 12 Chartiers-Houston (11-5)
4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Burkett Complex, Robinson
Winner plays: No. 4 South Side Beaver (15-2)/No. 13 Shady Side Academy (10-7)
Extra bases: Deer Lakes, co-champion of Section 3-AA, enters the playoffs on a seven-game win streak. The Lancers allowed two runs or fewer 11 times. Sophomore Ryan Petrone has impressed with his pitching performances. Speedy senior catcher Matt Olesnevich sets the tone for the Lancers' small-ball-style offense. … Chartiers-Houston placed third in Section 2-AA. The Bucs started the season 9-1 but lost four of its final six games.
No. 14 Apollo-Ridge (7-7) vs. No. 3 Steel Valley (14-2)
5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fox Chapel
Winner plays: No. 6 Freeport (11-5)/ No. 11 Riverside (11-5)
Extra bases: Apollo-Ridge came on strong in the second half of the season, winning five of his final six games, to place third in Section 3-AA. Junior Mike Percic is the Vikings' offensive standout with a .368 batting average, 4 home runs and 17 RBIs. Percic and junior Austin Laird combined to pitch 55.1 innings during the regular season. … Steel Valley finished undefeated in Section 4-AA, and its two losses were to Class AAA Thomas Jefferson and Class AAAA Moon. Right-handed pitcher Brandon Donovan is 4-0.
No. 10 Plu m (14-5) vs. No. 7 Norwin (14-3)
4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Gateway
Winner plays: No. 2 Baldwin (13-2)/ No. 15 North Hills (12-7)
Extra bases: Plum, which tied for second in Section 3-AAAA, struggled with one-inning defensive implosions. Sophomore Alex Kiriloff, who has already committed to Liberty, has a .392 batting average with five doubles, two triples and one home run. … Norwin placed second in Section 2-AAAA behind Hempfield, which earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Senior shortstop and Arizona recruit J.J. Matijevic ranks among the WPIAL's best sluggers. He homered in six straight games and also had hits in 10 consecutive at-bats earlier this season.
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