Leechburg rewarded for strong season, gets Class A’s No. 3 seed in WPIAL baseball playoffs
Friday, May 12, 2023 | 7:45 PM
The Blue Devils lost both games, 4-2 and 17-16, and finished second in Section 2-A, but they were rewarded for their performance against the Scotties, receiving the third seed and a bye in the WPIAL Class A playoffs.
“It’s exciting,” Leechburg coach Heath Shimer said. “I guess we get the week off, so we can heal up a little bit and get ready. We were expecting a fourth seed because we had been ranked there in the Trib rankings pretty much all year, and I didn’t know if we had the body of work from previous years, but I think the WPIAL looked at the strength of schedule we had and saw we weren’t just playing Class A teams in nonsection. The boys were rewarded for their hard work this year.”
The Blue Devils (13-4) scored the best seed of any Alle-Kiski Valley baseball team. They play the winner of No. 6 Bishop Canevin/No. 11 Western Beaver in the quarterfinals at a site and date to be determined.
Plum (12-7) was the lone section champion in the A-K Valley, splitting the Section 1-5A title with Penn-Trafford. The Mustangs received the No. 4 seed and will play No. 13 Trinity at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gateway.
“We are excited to play,” Plum coach Carl Vollmer said. “It’s easy to do, but we can’t get caught up in things we can’t control like the seeding. We are going to focus on playing and being as prepared as we can be for the playoffs. We need to focus on Plum. It’s not who we play but how we play that matters the most. We will try to get some information on Trinity and get ready to play. This is an exciting time, and we are looking forward to competing.”
Class 3A is the largest bracket with 18 teams, and three teams from the A-K Valley made the cut.
After finishing as the runner-up in Section 1, Freeport (14-5) received the No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 South Allegheny at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Plum. The Yellowjackets are in the tournament after winning a combined 10 games the last two seasons.
“It was a fair seed and was pretty much where we expected to be after we lost to East Allegheny (Wednesday),” Freeport coach Ed Carr said. “We just didn’t show well in that game, and we knew it was going to hurt our seeding. South Allegheny is a good team. They have some good wins on their resume. It should be a good game in Round 1.”
Two years ago, the Raiders made a run as a double-digit seed to the Class A championship, where they lost to Union.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
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