PIAA Class 2A baseball championship preview: Shenango vs. Schuylkill Haven

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Thursday, June 17, 2021 | 8:37 PM


History is being made in Happy Valley this week as the WPIAL sends 10 baseball and softball teams to Penn State University to compete in the PIAA championships.

This is the fourth year the PIAA has had six championships in baseball and softball.

In 2017, the WPIAL sent seven teams. In 2018, it grew to eight District 7 teams, but in 2019, only five district baseball and softball teams reached the state finals.

Shenango (23-2) vs. Schuylkill Haven (24-3)

10:30 a.m. Friday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park at Penn State

Path to Penn State

WPIAL champion Shenango defeated District 6 runner-up Mount Union, 7-3; District 9 champion Johnsonburg, 2-1; WPIAL No. 3 Serra Catholic, 5-0

District 11 champion Schuylkill Haven defeated District 12 champion Masterman, 8-0; District 3 champion Camp Hill, 10-2; District 2 champion Taylor Riverside, 8-7

District Postseason

Shenango defeated Northgate, 9-2; Neshannock, 8-0; Carmichaels, 7-6; and Seton LaSalle, 2-1, in the WPIAL championship

Schuykill Haven defeated North Schuylkill, 11-4; Blue Mountain, 9-3; Shenandoah Valley,4-1; and Williams Valley, 5-1, in the District 11 championship

Performers to Watch

Shenango

Sophomore Braeden D’Angelo will likely get the start for the Wildcats with a 6-0 record and a 2.83 ERA but expect to see sophomore Zach Herb on the hill as well for Shenango. Leadoff hitter Cre Calabria leads the team with a .410 batting average while Grove City recruit Shane Cato, the winning pitcher with a shutout in the state semifinals over Serra Catholic, leads the team with 33 RBIs. Junior Tyler Kamerer is second in RBIs with 32 and has a team-high three home runs.

Schuylkill Haven

Coach Scott Buffington is in his 44th year as coach of the Hurricanes. Quinnipiac recruit Mason Ulsh delivered a two-out RBI single that broke a 7-7 tie and drove in what would be the winning run in the state semifinals win over previously undefeated Taylor Riverside. Ulsh got the win in relief of starter Jacob Houtz, who did not make it out of the second inning. Shane Pothering had a two run triple of Schuylkill Haven.

Streaks

Shenango has a 21-game winning streak while Schuyllkill Haven has won 14 straight games

Factoids

• Shenango has a 5-3 record in the PIAA playoffs. This is the Wildcats’ first appearance in a baseball state championship game. In fact, this was only the fourth season Shenango qualified for the PIAA postseason. The Wildcats participated in 1990, 1995 and 2003, reaching the quarterfinals in ’90 and ’95.

• Schuylkill Haven has a 15-7 record in the state playoffs, and the Hurricanes are playing in their third PIAA baseball championship game. The ‘Canes lost to a pair of WPIAL teams, falling to Riverview in the 1983 title game and to Greensburg Central Catholic in the 2002 state finals.

• The last WPIAL team to win a PIAA Class 2A baseball title was Neshannock in 2015. The last District 11 team to win a state Class 2A baseball crown was Catasauqua in 1997.

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