Shady Side Academy baseball looks to keep momentum rolling

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Saturday, April 2, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Shady Side Academy made the WPIAL baseball playoffs last season, finished in second place in Section 3-2A and had its first winning season (10-6, 8-2) in five years.

But in 2022, the Bulldogs want more.

“We’re trying to build on what they did last year and continue with the tradition they have here at Shady Side,” said first-year coach Sean Wilson. “We’ve got a great bunch of young talent here, and even better, they’re great kids.”

“I think some of the guys here had a lot of success and we want to hope the younger guys can get some experience and the program can grow throughout the years,” said pitcher/infielder Josh Chu, a team captain.

The team lost to California in the first round of the playoffs. Shady Side won a WPIAL title in 2009.

Pitching will be a key and Wilson plans to use Bryce Trischler, Henry Fried and Chu.

Wilson added: “We also have some newcomers. Jonah Sackrowitz, James DelVecchio and Brady Trischler will see some innings as well, along with Sam Luketich. A good thing here at Shady Side is that we’ll have a strong staff.”

While its baseball field is being renovated, the Bulldogs will be playing their home games at the No Offseason complex in nearby West Deer.

“We’ll play at No Offseason, so basically, we’ll be playing all away games,” Wilson said. “It feels funny at first, but it’ll be routine at the end,” Wilson said.

“Our captains, Sam Lukitich and Bobby O’Brien will see significant time in our infield,” Wilson said. “We’re still trying to figure out a middle infield spot, but we have some senior leadership that can help move those guys along.”

Bryce Trischler will be in the outfield when he’s not pitching. Aedan Reagans, Sackrowitz, DelVecchio, Grant Dickey and Caden Green will fill outfield spots.

To make the WPIAL playoffs, Wilson will have to learn some new teams.

Long-time powerhouse Serra Catholic is always a favorite. Jeannette. Sto-Rox, Apollo-Ridge and Northgate round out Section 3-2A.

With Shady Side on a two-week spring break, the Bulldogs didn’t play any exhibition games and were scheduled to jump right into section play April 4 against Jeannette.

The 2021 success helped erase the disappointment of the 2020 season, canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, when Shady Side thought it had the ingredients to make a quality run.

“We thought in 2020, that it was our year,” said Chu, then a sophomore. “We had good players like John Salvitti. Last year, we wanted to prove what we thought we could have done in 2020. It didn’t set us back as much as we wanted to prove ourselves and that our program’s way better.”

Wilson’s impressive baseball resume includes stints at Seton Hill University, Mt. Lebanon and Fox Chapel. He teaches in the Woodland Hills School District.

Assisting the new Wilson regime are former Pitt and Point Park coach Jeff Minnick, former major league hurler Chris Peters will be the pitching coach, along with Mark Banas, Wilson’s father Leo Wilson and Charlie McGovern.

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