HS buzz: Baseball stars set to face off Sunday
Many of the area's top players will take the field at Kelly Automotive Park in Butler on Sunday for the annual WPIAL Baseball Coaches Association All-Star doubleheader.
At 1 p.m., a team of Class A all-stars will play a group from Class AA, and the Class AAAA vs. Class AAA game will follow at 4 p.m.
Eighty-four players from 62 area high schools were selected to participate.
The Class AAAA team will feature Zack Bahm, Mt. Lebanon; Daane Berezo, Pine-Richland; Joey DeFloria, Hempfield; Dom Farina, Norwin; Luca Farina, Central Catholic; Mitch Machi, North Allegheny; J.J. Matijevic, Norwin; Tom McCarthy, Baldwin; Chad Meyer, North Hills; Mark Merlino, Penn-Trafford; Alex Pantuso, Baldwin; Teagan Piechnick, Canon-McMillan; Phil Pisarcik, Peters Township; Mason Prickett, Moon; Trey Reese, Penn Hills; Tyler Saundry, North Allegheny; Tyler Schmidt, Peters Township; Ryan Sciullo, Kiski Area; Tyler Smith, Penn-Trafford; Nick Stotler, Plum; and Tyler Tubbs, Hempfield.
Class AAA: Jake Benack, Thomas Jefferson; Ryan Creps, Indiana; Drew DeBerry, Laurel Highlands; Eddie Edwards, Hampton; Jake Emge, Blackhawk; Kevin Gannon, Mars; Tyler Godwin, South Fayette; Zach Junk, Knoch; Josh Lapiana, Chartiers Valley; Taylor Lehman, Keystone Oaks; Parker Lynn, Belle Vernon; Brendan McKay, Blackhawk; A.J. Olasz, West Mifflin; Cody Overly, Yough; Brian Penz, Montour; Dylan Pietrantoni, Belle Vernon; Grant Smith, Ambridge; Zack Staschick, Uniontown; Sean Thompson, Indiana; Caleb Thorn, Knoch; Ben Vey, Hampton.
Class AA: David Boehme, Seton-La Salle; Ernie Burkes, Neshannock; Todd Coleman, Deer Lakes; Tyler Day, Chartiers-Houston; Matt Hoesch, Steel Valley; Seth Hvizda, Beth-Center; Nolan Lamont, South Side Beaver; Ross Maietta, Riverside; Brent McCormick, Shenango; Ryan Novotney, Brownsville; Matt Olesnevich, Deer Lakes; Jason Pettner, Riverside; Jordan Ranson, Beaver Falls; Chuckie Scales, Shady Side Academy; Noah Shannon, Freeport; R.J. Stewart, Laurel; Matt Swartz, Freeport; Ben Utterback, Quaker Valley; Matt Wilke, Seton La-Salle; Michael Wise, Jeannette; Jordan Yates, Beaver.
Class A: Jason Anthony, Riverview; Ron Baron, California; Dan Bechek, OLSH; Logan Bowman, Jefferson-Morgan; Tracy Bozich, Western Beaver; Brandon Coddington, Serra Catholic; Ty Cole, Carmichaels; Jake Columbus, California; Dom Conte, Riverview; Alex Demonte, Springfield; Tim Fraysler, Avella; Nick Kocent, OLSH; Brandon Lawless, Carmichaels; Joey Luciana, St. Joseph; Josh Luko, California; Phil Madonna, Vincentian Academy; Steve Menich, Western Beaver; John O'Donnell, Bishop Canevin; Justice Rawlins, Monessen; Travis Sanner, Frazier; Sam Thimons, St. Joseph.
PTFCA postseason awards
Several WPIAL athletes were honored by the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association with selection to the outdoor all-state team.
Hempfield's Maddie Holmberg was named athlete of the year after she won PIAA gold medals in the long jump and 300-meter hurdles. She also helped the 400 relay team defend its state crown.
Hempfield's Ron Colland was named girls coach of the year after the Spartans defended their PIAA title.
Holmberg was a first-team all-state selection in long jump and 300 hurdles, and teammate Bridget Guy was a first-team pick in pole vault.
Shaler's Brianna Schwartz was a first-team selection in the 1,600 and 3,200, Fort Cherry's Jenna Lucas was first team in javelin and Hempfield's 400 relay team was also picked first team.
First-team boys selections included Gateway's Montae Nicholson (110 hurdles), Hempfield's Max Adams (discus) and the Gateway 400-meter relay team.
On the road again
Most teams in the PIAA baseball and softball playoffs expect to travel to play in their later-round games, but the three remaining WPIAL teams will be spending a lot of time on the bus Monday for their semifinal matchups.
The Seneca Valley baseball team will head 201 miles east to Greene Township Park in Scotland, spending about three hours and 15 minutes on the PA Turnpike to play District 1's Conestoga.
Greensburg Salem softball will travel three hours and 179 miles to Messiah College in Mechanicsburg to play District 3 champ Springfield Delco.
Neshannock stays in Western Pennsylvania for its softball semifinal against District 6's Claysburg-Kimmel, but will travel 81 miles from Lawrence County to Westmoreland County for an hour and a half trip to Hempfield.
Apollo-Ridge junior Tre Tipton made enough of an impression at the Pitt Prospect Camp on Friday to get a scholarship offer from the host Panthers — his seventh Division I offer.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound wide receiver/defensive back committed to Toledo last Sunday, then de-committed Monday to further evaluate his situation with family and coaches. On Tuesday, Michigan State offered. Tipton's other offers are from Massachusetts, Ohio, Duquesne and St. Francis (Pa.).