Shady Side Academy overcomes injuries to make WPIAL baseball playoffs

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Saturday, May 14, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Some baseball teams get bit by the injury bug. For the Shady Side Academy baseball team, it’s more like the injury tarantula.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season without some of their top players who were felled with injuries. This didn’t stop Shady Side from finishing with a 7-3 mark in Section 3-2A, 9-5 overall.

The Bulldogs, however, lost their last two regular season games, 15-0 to Knoch and 10-0 to Apollo-Ridge, respectively.

“We hope a couple of guys can come back to help us in the playoffs,” coach Sean Wilson said.

“I’m happy, though, with the way the team has played throughout the season.”

The top pitcher is junior Bryce Trischler, who has missed time with an injury.

“We have a strong staff of pitchers, and right now Bryce is our ace,” Wilson said. “He gives us a great chance every time he’s on the mound. I’m really happy with his progress this year.”

Juniors Henry Fried and James DelVecchio also have pitched some quality innings. Trischler has a 2.30 earned run average, while DeVecchio checks in at 3.27 and Fried at 3.60.

There’s bad news, however, for sophomore Caden Green, who’s expected to miss the remainder of the season with a dislocated shoulder. Green had come along well with his bat, hitting .370 and leading the team in runs batted in with 16.

The top hitter is senior first baseman Bobby O’Brien, batting .486 at the close of the regular season with eight stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .556.

Wilson also is happy with the progress of sophomore Jonah Sackrowitz.

Said Wilson: “Jonah can play all over the place for us, kind of a utility player, he’s had a good year for us. Sam Luketich has had some good spots for us.”

Expected back for the playoffs is shortstop and team leader Josh Chu, who has battled an elbow injury for about a month.

In section play, Shady Side did compete with Serra Catholic, the top-ranked Class 2A team through much of the season by TribHSSN.

“We split with Apollo-Ridge, and with Serra, we just weren’t able to get that timely hit to pull us through,” Wilson said. “It was tough to come back from an extra-inning loss, but we played them very hard. I think we proved we can play anybody in Class 2. When we’re healthy, we’re tough.”

The Bulldogs went without their on-campus home field this season. The facility is being renovated, and Shady Side played its home games at No Off-Season in West Deer.

The Bulldogs made the playoffs last season, losing to California in the opening round, 4-2, at Hempfield High School.

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