Highlands, St. Joseph baseball teams end long WPIAL playoff droughts

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Monday, May 6, 2019 | 7:29 PM


Highlands and St. Joseph share the same stretch of road in Harrison Township, and until Monday they also had long WPIAL baseball playoff droughts in common.

But the neighboring schools got the monkey off their backs on the same afternoon, as St. Joseph beat Section 3-A rival Leechburg, 10-0, in five innings to clinch its first playoff appearance since 2000, and Highlands beat Indiana, 9-3, to secure its first berth since 2003.

“It was a game that we’ve been talking about since we lost at Leechburg,” St. Joseph coach Kurt Krebs said of a defeat from earlier this season. “We didn’t feel we played our best that day. We’ve been looking forward to getting back on the field with them.”

Leechburg also kept St. Joseph from making the postseason in 2018 after sweeping the Spartans. But St. Joseph starter Tyler Wood threw a five-inning one-hitter Monday, and St. Joseph (6-7, 4-5) got three RBIs from Hayden Mallin and two from Dom Fellowes.

Noah Gillette’s bases-clearing double led the way for Highlands (10-7, 6-5) in its clinching victory.

The Golden Rams moved a game ahead of Knoch for fourth place in Section 1-4A with one game remaining; even if Highlands loses its section finale at Knoch on Wednesday, the Golden Rams would be in the postseason.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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