PIAA Class 6A baseball championship preview: Mt. Lebanon vs. Father Judge

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Thursday, June 15, 2023 | 9:28 PM


This is the sixth season the PIAA has hosted six state championship baseball games.

The WPIAL is sending three teams to the state baseball championships at Penn State, including Mt. Lebanon in Class 6A.

The WPIAL is 1-1 in 6A state baseball title games. Canon-McMillan beat Bensalem, 10-3, to win gold in 2018. North Allegheny fell to LaSalle College in the 2021 state finals, 2-1.

Here is a look at the sixth and final PIAA baseball championship game in 2023 set for Saturday.

PIAA Class 6A baseball championship

Mt. Lebanon (16-10) vs. Father Judge (17-1)

4:30 p.m. Saturday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park at Penn State University

On the air: Video on PCN with audio broadcast on WJPA-AM 1450 and TribHSSN.TribLive.com

District seeds

Mt. Lebanon was the No. 5 seed in the WPIAL playoffs and the No. 1 seed out of District 7 in the PIAA playoffs after winning a second straight D-7 title by beating North Allegheny.

Father Judge was the No. 1 seed out of District 12 after beating Philadelphia Central in the D-12 finals.

Coaches

Patt McCloskey, Mt. Lebanon; Mike Metzger, Father Judge

Players to watch

Matthew Delvaux, Mt. Lebanon, sr., p/dh; Nick Shiffler, Father Judge, sr., OF

Path to Penn State

Mt. Lebanon – Defeated Manheim Township from District 3 in the first round, 4-1, knocked off District 1 runner-up Spring-Ford in the quarterfinals, 5-2 in nine innings, and then beat District 3 champion Cedar Cliff in the semifinals, 7-2.

Father Judge – Eliminated Plymouth-Whitemarsh from District 1 in the first round, 6-2, blanked District 1 champion Central Bucks West, 1-0, in the state quarterfinals, and then beat North Penn from District 1 in the semifinals, 4-1.

Championship factoids

Mt. Lebanon

• The Blue Devils are 14-7 all-time in PIAA baseball games.

• This is Mt. Lebanon’s second PIAA baseball championship game. The Blue Devils beat Coatesville 25 years ago, 9-6, to win the 1998 PIAA 3A baseball championship.

• The Blue Devils are 3-0 in the state playoffs this spring in their ninth state playoff appearance. They first qualified in 1993 and last appeared in the PIAA playoffs last spring when they fell to Cumberland Valley, 7-0.

• Senior pitcher and designated hitter Matthew Delvaux has been lights out with his arm and bat. He was the winning pitcher in the first round and semifinal victories, plus he had an RBI double in the quarterfinal win over Spring-Ford.

• Sophomore David Shields is expected to get the start for Mt. Lebanon. He threw a no-hitter in the WPIAL championship win over North Allegheny.

• Mt. Lebanon has won six games in a row.

Father Judge

• The Crusaders are 3-1 all-time in PIAA baseball game.

• Father Judge is playing in its first state championship game. This is only the second PIAA playoff appearance ever for the program. The Crusaders lost in the first round of the 2016 4A playoffs to Council Rock North, 2-1.

• Senior outfielder Nick Shiffler leads the Crusaders in batting average at .354, on base percentage at .494, home runs with three, runs with 23 and he’s tied for the lead in RBI with 18.

• St. John’s commit David Rodriguez got the save in the semifinal win over North Penn. The junior is 10-1 with a 0.98 ERA for the Crusaders.

• LaSalle College is the only District 12 team to win a PIAA title in the highest classification, doing it in 2012, 2014 and 2021.

• Father Judge has won seven straight games.

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