2022 PIAA Class 2A baseball championship preview: Neshannock vs. Everett

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Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 4:20 PM


PIAA Class 2A baseball championship

Neshannock (20-7) vs. Everett (20-2)

10:30 a.m. Thursday at Medlar Field, Lubrano Park at Penn State

On the air: Trib HSSN (audio)

Path to Penn State

Neshannock – The WPIAL runners-up defeated District 10 champion West Middlesex in the first round, 4-3, edged section foe Riverside, 5-4, in 11 innings in the quarterfinals and worked extras again in the semifinals, 2-1, in nine innings over Burgettstown.

Everett – The District 5 champions beat Portage from District 6 in the first round, 4-3, before beating District 4 champion South Williamsport, 8-4, in the quarterfinals and shutting out District 3 champion Delone Catholic in the semifinals, 1-0.

Secret to their success

Neshannock – The Lancers have persevered this postseason, winning games in nine, 11 and 12 innings. They have shown opponents plenty of love thanks to the timely offense of junior Giovanni Valentine, who delivered a big two-run single in the first round and the game-winning single in the semifinals. Old and young have contributed to the Neshannock balanced attack such as seniors Colten Shaffer, Sebastian Coiro, juniors Grant Melder and Jack Glies and freshmen Dom Cubellis and Jake Rynd.

Everett – Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Warriors had to rally for two runs in the comeback win over Portage in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs. In the semifinals, Everett and Delone Catholic were scoreless through five innings when junior Sid Grove delivered an RBI single that scored senior Jacob Price with what turned out to be the game’s only run. Senior Trenton Mellott pitched six strong innings for the win, allowing only two hits, while senior Calvin Iseminger earned a rough save. Delone Catholic had runners at second and third with no outs in the seventh but could but could not score the game-tying run.

Championship factoids

Neshannock – The Lancers are now 19-9 all-time in PIAA baseball playoff games as they make their fourth appearance in the state finals. Neshannock lost to Central Columbia, 3-1, in the 1991 Class AA finals; however, the Lancers have won their last two title games. Neshannock beat Muncy in the 2004 Class A finals and defeated Neumann-Goretti, 9-0, to win the 2015 AA crown.

Everett – The Warriors are 4-5 all-time in the PIAA playoffs and are making their first trip to a state championship game. The only other state postseason win prior to this spring for the program game in a 1983 first-round victory over California, 4-0. Only one other District 5 team has won a PIAA baseball championship. Meyersdale beat Clarion, 2-0, to win the 2017 Class A state title.

WPIAL — This is the fifth season the PIAA has hosted six state championship baseball games. This year, the WPIAL sends three teams to Penn State looking to cap their outstanding seasons with state gold. It has been a mixed bag for District 7 teams in the PIAA finals since expansion in 2017. The greatest success was last spring when five teams played in the state championship game and Bethel Park and New Castle returned as champions. Four teams reached the title game in 2018 with Canon-McMillan, Ringgold and Vincentian Academy all winning. In 2017 and 2019, only two WPIAL teams reached the finals with Latrobe in ’17 bringing home the only state crown.

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