Alle-Kiski Valley WPIAL baseball playoff capsules for May 19, 2021
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | 5:32 PM
4:30 p.m. at Norwin
Players to watch: Ethan Kircher, Sr., C, Plum; Chase Sickenberger, Jr., INF, Latrobe
Extra bases: The Mustangs won their first section title since 2016 after beating Fox Chapel on May 11. They won five straight games from April 26 to May 4, including two wins on their new turf field. Pitcher and leading hitter Colin Solinski (.429) is working his way back from an injury he suffered in a win over Seneca Valley. Nathan McMasters and Silvio Ionadi lead the Mustangs with 12 RBIs. The Wildcats finished the season on a four-game winning streak, including two wins over No. 6 Penn-Trafford. They’ve only missed the playoffs once since 2014. They also won WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2017.
7 p.m. at North Allegheny
Coaches: Brian Junker, Shaler; Jim Hastings, Fox Chapel
Players to watch: Miguel Hugas, So. P/OF, Shaler; Dante DiMatteo, Sr., P/OF, Fox Chapel
Extra bases: The Titans finished in a three-way tie for first place in Section 3-5A. They split section matchups with South Fayette and West Allegheny and won seven of their first eight games. The Titans also produced five shutouts. They are looking for their second straight WPIAL title since beating Laurel Highlands, 8-1, in the 2019 finals. The Foxes were within a game of winning the Section 2-5A championship and finished tied for second with Mars. Since his start April 23 against Woodland Hills, senior pitcher Dante DiMatteo has only allowed two hits and has tallied three outings of no-hit baseball. Senior Tommy Fravel and DiMatteo lead the Foxes with 15 RBIs. This season will be Fox Chapel’s third straight playoff appearance.
4:30 p.m. at Plum
Coaches: Jeff Campbell, Highlands; Tony Watson, Belle Vernon
Winner plays: 3-Blackhawk (14-4) Monday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Jett Slepak, Jr., P/INF, Highlands; Matt Bamford, Jr., P, Belle Vernon
Extra bases: The Golden Rams won their final five games, including two wins over Section 1 champion North Catholic. They outscored their final five opponents by a combined score of 38-4. Slepak leads Highlands with a .400 batting average and has also tallied seven doubles. Tanner Nulph leads the Golden Rams with a 1.46 ERA and has struck out 63 in 38 1/3 innings. The Leopards are winless since April 20, a 5-4 victory over Laurel Highlands. They also won their first four games. The Leopards are making their sixth straight playoff appearance. Matt Bamford has thrown 24 1/3 innings and has produced a 2.88 ERA.
4:30 p.m. at Fox Chapel
Winner plays: 1-Montour (13-5) Monday (time, site, TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Eli Sutton, Jr. C, Knoch; Andrew Glas, Jr. P, Quaker Valley
Extra bases: The Knights lost six of their final seven games. They haven’t missed the playoffs since 2011 and won WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2015. At one point this season, Knoch won eight of nine games. Brayden Hageter leads the Knights with a 1.97 ERA in 39 innings. After beating Blackhawk, 12-2, on April 27, the Quakers have won four of their last seven games; two of their losses came by one run. Junior catcher Zeke Hendricks leads the Quakers with 14 RBIs, four doubles and two home runs. The Quakers are making their second consecutive playoff appearance.
4:30 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant
Winner plays: 6-Chartiers Houston (14-3)/Riverside (9-9) Friday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Drake Long, Jr., P, Carmichaels; Zach Hreha, Sr., P, Apollo-Ridge
Extra bases: The Mighty Mikes have lost one game, a 7-6 contest against Chartiers-Houston. They allowed four or more runs three times and scored in double-digits in every game but four. They won the Section 1-2A title with an undefeated record and are looking for their first WPIAL title since 2008. Zach Hreha leads the Vikings with a 1.03 ERA in 34 innings. He’s only allowed five earned runs and has struck out 40. The Vikings won their first four games, and their sixth win was a big victory over No. 3 Serra Catholic.
2 p.m. at Plum
Winner plays: 2-Greensburg Central Catholic (13-4) Monday (time, site TBD) in the quarterfinals
Players to watch: Ryan Aber, Sr., SS, Riverview; Ty Jaworowski, Sr., OF, Avella
Extra bases: The Raiders lost three section games, splitting section series with No. 1 Eden Christian, No. 11 Leechburg and No. 9 Sewickley Academy. Two of their three remaining losses came against Class 3A No. 7 Valley. They also mercy-ruled Sewickley Academy, 16-1, on April 27. The Raiders are making their first playoff appearance since 2015. Senior Ty Jaworowski led the Eagles with a .379 batting average and seven RBIs. The Eagles haven’t won since April 20. Both of their wins came against Cornell.
6-Jefferson Morgan (11-5) vs. 11-Leechburg (7-8)
2 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant
Coaches: John Curtis, Jefferson Morgan; Bill Stoops, Leechburg
Winner plays: 3-Rochester (10-4) Monday (time, site TBD) in the quarterfinals
Players to watch: Bryce Bedilion, Sr., P/OF/1B, Jefferson Morgan; Owen McDermott, So., P/SS, Leechburg
Extra bases: Bryce Bedilion and Kyle Clayton lead the Rockets with .400-plus batting averages, and Bedilion has a team-high 24 RBIs with three triples and one home run. The senior captain has thrown 31 innings, produced a 2.03 ERA and struck out 37 batters. The Rockets finished one game behind Greensburg Central Catholic for the Section 2 title and won six of their final seven games. They split their series with GCC, winning the second game 6-3. In 44 at-bats, Leechburg sophomore Owen McDermott has produced a .591 batting average with 11 RBIs and seven doubles. McDermott has also pitched a team-high 29 1/3 innings and has struck out 40 while allowing 12 earned runs. The Blue Devils won three of their final four games.
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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