Decade’s best WPIAL finals: Baseball No. 4

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | 10:24 PM

While it almost became a theme to repeat in WPIAL softball this past decade, it was nearly an impossible dream for district baseball teams.

Wild Things Park in Washington continued to be the home for the WPIAL baseball championships, but only twice in 42 title games was a school successful in repeating as champions. Seneca Valley in Class AAAA and Neshannock in Class A pulled it off the same two years in the spring of 2011 and 2012.

Speaking of Seneca Valley, the 2014 team gave hope for every team that qualifies for the district playoffs as that Raiders team captured WPIAL gold as the No. 16-seed.

So, while the third decade of the 21st century got off to a slow start with the 2020 season wiped away, here is a look back at the last 10 years with a countdown of the Top 10 WPIAL baseball championship games.

No. 4 – Zero tolerance

The 2016 WPIAL Class AA baseball championship game was not only a great contest; it marked the end of one of the most dominant postseason runs ever.

Defending champion Neshannock was the top seed. Riverside was the No. 2 seed.

Both teams were 19-2 overall and both teams were co-champs of Section 5-AA.

Riverside had not allowed a single run in the WPIAL postseason, shutting out New Brighton, Steel Valley and Keystone Oaks on its way to Wild Things Park.

The trend continued in the finals as the Panthers scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the ninth inning to dethrone the Lancers. Riverside outscored its four playoff opponents 23-0 on the way to district gold.

Click the final score below for Matt Grubba’s recap of the Panthers blanking the Lancers.

Riverside 1, Neshannock 0 in 9 innings

Decade’s best WPIAL baseball finals:

No. 5, 2017 Class 2A: Jeannette 7, Greensburg Central Catholic 3 in 12 innings

No. 6, 2019 Class 3A: Steel Valley 5, Hopewell 4 in 8 innings

No. 7, 2012 Class AAA: Blackhawk 1, Belle Vernon 0

No. 8, 2010 Class AAA: Hopewell 2, Moon 1

No. 9, 2018 Class 6A: Canon-McMillan 2, North Allegheny 1

No. 10, 2017 Class 2A: California 3, Freedom 1 in 10 innings

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