2023 WPIAL Class 5A baseball championship preview: Shaler vs. Bethel Park

Monday, May 29, 2023 | 8:39 AM

WPIAL Class 5A baseball championship

1-Shaler (18-4) vs. 2-Bethel Park (17-4)

7 p.m. Tuesday at Wild Things Park

On the air: Trib HSSN (video)

How they got here: Shaler had a first-round bye and beat No. 8 Fox Chapel, 11-1, in the quarterfinals and No. 4 Plum in the semifinals, 2-0; Bethel Park had a bye in the first round and defeated No. 10 Upper St. Clair, 6-0, in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Penn-Trafford, 8-5, in the semifinals.

WPIAL titles: Shaler 5 (1964, ‘80, ‘81, ‘99, 2019); Bethel Park 2 (1985, ‘87)

Coaches: Brian Junker, Shaler; Pat Zehnder, Bethel Park

Players to watch: Miguel Hugas, Shaler; Evan Holewinski, Bethel Park

Extra bases: Shaler won a meeting between the teams, 5-2 on March 30. The Titans won the Section 3 title with a 9-1 record and are riding a six-game winning streak. They started the season 10-1 before back-to-back losses to West Allegheny and Butler. They also lost to Franklin Regional and University, W.Va. Against Plum in the semifinals, Elijah Muckle was 3 for 3 and Derek Leas tossed a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Hugas, a Venezuela native, is an Alabama commit who was 6-0 in the regular season. … Bethel Park, the Section 2 champion, has won the past two state championships. Holewinski is a Kent State recruit who is batting near .500 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs. He homered and struck out nine batters against Upper St. Clair in the first round.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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