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BVA snubbed in baseball seedings

| Thursday, May 16, 2002

At 15-2, Belle Vernon Area has the best record in WPIAL's Class AA.

One Pittsburgh newspaper has the Leps ranked No. 1.

Another publication has BVA ranked fourth among Class AA teams in the state and first involving WPIAL teams.

The radio network that covers WPIAL events has the Leps in the No. 2 spot.

So when the WPIAL baseball steering committee met Wednesday to announce the pairings, BVA was guaranteed one of the top three seeds and a first round bye, right• Wrong!

South Park (13-4), Washington (12-2) and Ellwood City (12-4) received the top seeds and won't have to play until Thursday at the earliest.

The Leps, meanwhile, will have to play Monday at Beth-Center against McGuffey (8-6) in a 3:30 p.m. contest.

Despite riding one of the WPIAL's longest winning streaks at 11, BVA received no respect from the committee.

BVA coach Jimmy Russell wasn't surprised.

"I'm disappointed but expected it," he said. "It seems we always have to take the hard road when it comes to the playoffs. Our kids will welcome the challenge."

McGuffey made the playoffs by winning its last two games over Sec. 1 champion Washington and Brownsville to finish tied for second with Charleroi.

The Highlanders won the playoff spot thanks to a pair of wins over the Cougars.

If BVA wins its first game, the Leps will face the Center-Mt. Pleasant winner in the quarterfinals Thursday.

Mt. Pleasant finished second to BVA in the section and closed its season Wednesday with a 4-3 decision over visiting Southmoreland.

With the win, the Vikings prevented Elizabeth Forward and Yough from getting in the playoffs.

Bentworth (10-2), meanwhile, will make its Class A debut Monday at Burgettstown against Monaca (5-4) in a 3 p.m. contest.

The WPIAL softball playoffs will open Saturday with Ringgold (10-4) hosting Woodland Hills (8-4) in the Class AAA preliminary round.

Elizabeth Forward (10-4) will host Ambridge (11-6) Monday at 3:30 p.m. in a Class AAA first round game.

In Class AA, Yough (9-5) will open Monday at Mars (13-4) in a 3:30 p.m. contest.

California (11-6) travels to Greensburg Central Catholic (14-1) in a first round Class A game Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

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