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Breaking down the WPIAL baseball championships

| Sunday, May 25, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Baldwin pitcher Alex Pantuso delivers to the plate against Moon at Burkett Complex.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Blackhawk pitcher Brendan McKay delivers to the plate against Montour this season at Chippewa Park.
Daniel Kubus | For the Tribune-Review
California ace Josh Luko, delivering a pitch during the WPIAL baseball playoffs on May 19, will take the mound again in the Class A title game Tuesday.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune Review
Steel Valley's Brandon Donovan takes a swing during the WPIAL semifinals against Quaker Valley on Thursday, May 22, 2014, at Fox Chapel. Steel Valley won 1-0.

Class AAAA

Baldwin vs. Seneca Valley

5 p.m. Wednesday, Consol Energy Park

No. 2 Baldwin (16-2)

Coach: Dan Caponi

No. Name Pos. Yr.

21 Nick Bernick SS Sr.

24 Morgan Schmitt 1B Jr.

9 Tom McCarthy 3B Sr.

20 Alex Pantuso P Sr.

6 Chris Eisel LF So.

14 Dylan Finocchi 2B Jr.

12 Jordan Gitzen RF Jr.

10 Zach Murray C Sr.

3 Christian Hirt CF Sr.

No. 16 Seneca Valley (9-11)

Coach: Eric Semega

No. Name Pos. Yr.

15 John Harper CF Sr.

4 Johnny Brittner 2B Jr.

2 Matt Rafferty LF Sr.

6 Vince Augustein RF Jr.

7 Connor Coward P Sr.

9 Matt Wagner DH Jr.

11 Corbin Kessler 3B So.

23 John Davis C Sr.

10 Alex Hadjuk SS Sr.

22 Dan Lopresti* 1B Sr.

*Does not bat

How they got here: Baldwin beat No. 15 North Hills, 2-1; No. 10 Plum, 14-4; and No. 11 Moon, 10-2. Seneca Valley beat No. 1 Hempfield, 10-5; No. 9 Shaler, 3-0; and No. 4 Pine-Richland, 5-4.

WPIAL titles: B: 0, SV: 3 (1994, 2011, '12)

2013 title game: North Allegheny 4, Seneca Valley 2

Notable:Seneca Valley returns to the final for the fourth consecutive year. This is Baldwin's first WPIAL final appearance. Coward, a Virginia Tech recruit, won the past two playoff games. Pantuso, a Slippery Rock recruit with a 6-1 record, had six home runs and 20 RBIs in the regular season. Eisel had four homers. Augustein batted .479 for Seneca.

Predicted winner: Baldwin

Class AAA

Blackhawk vs. West Allegheny

8 p.m. Wednesday, Consol Energy Park

No. 1 Blackhawk (14-2)

Coach: Bob Amalia

No. Name Pos. Yr.

6 Rich Rowe RF Sr.

1 Chase Migliore 1B Sr.

33 Brendan McKay P Sr.

12 Joe Campagna 2B Jr.

8 Cody Bain CF Sr.

23 Jake Emge C Sr.

9 Dante Parente 3B Jr.

14 Duncan Miklos DH Sr.

21 Forrest Beighley SS Sr.

16 Tyler Shroads* LF Sr.

No. 10 West Allegheny (17-4)

Coach: Bryan Cornell

No. Name Pos. Yr.

3 Tyler Amedure SS Jr.

25 Michael Cummings CF Jr.

16 Alec Palmer RF Sr.

18 Brandon Pouch C Jr.

4 Chasen Claus 1B Fr.

22 Jake Cunningham 3B So.

20 Colin Claus P Jr.

23 Nick Wiethorn LF Jr.

17 Danny Guilfoil 2B Jr.

*Does not bat

How they got here:Blackhawk beat No. 16 Uniontown, 17-1; No. 9 Indiana, 4-0; and No. 4 West Mifflin, 15-0. West Allegheny beat No. 7 Laurel Highlands, 5-3; No. 2 Chartiers Valley, 4-2; and No. 3 Hampton, 3-1.

WPIAL titles: B: 1 (2012), WA: 3 (1994, 2007, '08)

2013 final: South Park 4, Hopewell 3

Notable: McKay (10-0) has 69 consecutive scoreless innings. The teams split two Section 1 matchups: Blackhawk won 10-0, and West Allegheny won 2-1 when McKay didn't pitch. Claus (9-0), who has pitched all three playoff wins, combined with Amedure in the semifinal victory.

Predicted winner: Blackhawk

Class AA

Steel Valley vs. Seton-La Salle

5 p.m. Tuesday, Consol Energy Park

No. 3 Steel Valley (17-2)

Coach: Tim Vickers

No. Name Pos. Yr.

5 Michael Hoesch RF Sr.

22 Andrew Chuba CF Sr.

3 Brandon Donovan P Jr.

23 Derek Morrison 1B Sr.

28 Sammy Ligeros LF Sr.

4 Bryce Varhola 2B Sr.

25 Cole Eged C Jr.

12 Matthew Hoesch 3B Sr.

7 Sean McShane SS Sr.

No. 9 Seton-La Salle (15-5)

Coach: Shawn Trainor

No. Name Pos. Yr.

12 Matt Wilke SS Sr.

4 Danzel McKinley-Lewis CF Jr.

10 David Boehme P Sr.

18 Liam Sweeney C So.

11 Nico Popa 3B So.

4 Carson Rebel 2B Jr.

24 Kevin Curran RF Sr.

25 Andrew Lease 1B So.

9 Matt Reinmund DH Jr.

5 Nick Krugh* LF Fr.

*Does not bat

How they got here:Steel Valley beat No. 14 Apollo-Ridge, 1-0; No. 11 Riverside, 14-7; and No. 2 Quaker Valley, 1-0. Seton beat No. 8 Brownsville, 14-5; No. 1 Neshannock, 3-2; and No. 5 Deer Lakes, 3-2.

WPIAL titles: SLS: 1 (1995), SV: 0

2013 final: Beaver 7, Quaker Valley 1

Notable: The two teams have combined for four one-run playoff games. Donovan had a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts and a two-hitter with 10 in these playoffs. He also batted a team-best .521 in the regular season with 31 RBIs. Eged (.486) and Chuba (.483) were next. Boehme (.528, 5-1 record), Wilke (.474) and Sweeney (24 RBIs) led Seton-La Salle, which reached the final with two nine-inning victories.

Predicted winner: Steel Valley

Class A

California vs. Carmichaels

8 p.m. Tuesday, Consol Energy Park

No. 1 California (19-0)

Coach: Nick Damico

No. Name Pos. Yr.

26 Jake Columbus C Sr.

20 Louden Conte SS So.

8 Aaron Previnski CF Jr.

22 Ron Baron 3B Sr.

9 Josh Luko P Sr.

7 Mike Luketich 2B Sr.

2 Casey Zajicek LF So.

14 Gavin Anderson DH Sr.

5 Robbie DeFranco RF Sr.

25 Nathaniel Luketich* 1B Fr.

No. 10 Carmichaels (14-2)

Coach: Scott VanSickle

No. Name Pos. Yr.

5 Brennen McMinn 2B Sr.

17 Ryan Zalar CF Sr.

19 Michael Blasinsky C Jr.

3 Ty Cole SS Sr.

23 Billy Bowlen 3B So.

26 Joel Spishock DH Fr.

7 Brandon Lawless P Sr.

22 Tyler Aeschbacher LF Sr.

11 Justin Newman 1B Sr.

8 Reed Long* RF Sr.

*Does not bat

How they got here: After a first-round bye, California beat North Catholic, 2-0; and No. 13 Sewickley Academy, 16-5. Carmichaels beat No. 7 Springdale, 10-2; No. 2 Western Beaver, 17-8; and No. 11 Riverview, 9-0.

WPIAL titles: Cal: 3 (1983, 2001, '06), Carm: 3 (2003, '05, '08)

2013 final: Western Beaver 3, OLSH 2

Notable: Cal beat its rival twice this season, 14-0 and 6-5. Luko (9-0) pitched a no-hitter in the first matchup. Lawless is 8-1 with a 2.04 ERA. Conte (.527), Blasinsky (.512), Previnsky (.491) and Zalar (.488) all hit around .500 this season.

Predicted winner:California

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