Top 20 in 20 years: Memorable WPIAL baseball finals have been staged at Wild Things Park

Monday, May 27, 2024 | 11:31 PM

Whether it was called Falconi Field, Consol Energy Park or now Wild Things Park, the home for the Washington Wild Things independent baseball team for more than two decades has now hosted 20 years of WPIAL baseball championship games.

There have been some incredible moments packed in those many title games as the facility prepares to host six WPIAL baseball championship games Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maybe in five years when we look back at 25 years of district title games, one or two or more of these upcoming games will make the list.

Here is a personal countdown of the Top 20 WPIAL baseball finals played at Wild Things Park since 2003, with a link to Trib HSSN’s recap.

No. 20: 2021 Class 2A – Shenango 2, Seton LaSalle 1

»Gabe Yanssens’ two-run, two-out single in the top of the sixth inning helped Shenango defeat defending 2019 champion Seton LaSalle, 2-1.

No. 19: 2017 Class 2A – California 3, Freedom 1

» California scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning to claim a 3-1 victory over Freedom in the WPIAL Class 2A championship.

No. 18: 2018 Class 6A – Canon-McMillan 2, North Allegheny 1

» Canon-McMillan’s Zach Rohaley escaped a sixth-inning jam by striking out three consecutive batters in a 2-1 victory over North Allegheny in the WPIAL Class 6A final.

No. 17: 2023 Class 4A – Hopewell 4, Latrobe 3

» Landon Fox pitched a complete game and went 2 for 3 with a double to power Hopewell to a 4-3 victory over No. 5 Latrobe.

No. 16: 2010 Class A – Serra Catholic 7, Neshannock 3

» Sophomore Alain Girman threw a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts to lead Serra Catholic to a 7-3 victory.

No. 15: 2017 Class A – Jeannette 7, Greensburg Central Catholic 3 in 12 innings

» Jeannette endured a 52-minute lightning delay and 12 innings of baseball before outdueling rival Greensburg Central Catholic, 7-3, to claim its first Class A title.

No. 14: 2021 Class 3A – Hopewell 6, South Park 5

» Ty Eberhardt’s infield single gave Hopewell its fourth WPIAL championship and a 6-5 victory over South Park.

No. 13: 2014 Class 2A – Steel Valley 6, Seton LaSalle 5

» Jesse Cantley drove a two-out, two-strike pitch into center field to lift Steel Valley past Seton-La Salle, 6-5, for its first WPIAL championship.

No. 12: 2021 Class 5A – Franklin Regional 2, Bethel Park 1

» Andrew Muraco’s walk-off single lifted Franklin Regional to a 2-1 victory over Bethel Park.

No. 11: 2019 Class 3A – Steel Valley 5, Hopewell 4 in 8 innings

» The Ironmen dramatically overcame a four-run deficit and defeated Hopewell, 5-4, in eight innings, bringing back memories from 2014, when Steel Valley scored three times in the seventh to win that year’s title.

No. 10: 2016 Class 2A – Riverside 1, Neshannock 0

» Braden Bentel’s two-out, RBI single up the middle scored Kolby Wolf from second, and Riverside captured the championship by defeating Neshannock, 1-0, in nine innings.

No. 9: 2021 Class A – Union 3, Riverview 0

» Senior Jake Vitale threw a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts and three walks in a 3-0 victory over No. 7 Riverview to give No. 4 Union its first WPIAL baseball title.

No. 8: 2022 Class 5A – West Allegheny 5, Peters Township 4 in 8 innings

» West Allegheny’s Anthony Raineri bounced an eighth-inning single past second base to score Brady Miller with the go-ahead run in an extra-innings victory over top-seeded Peters Township, 5-4, in a WPIAL Class 5A championship delayed twice by lightning.

No. 7: 2006 Class 3A – Pine-Richland 6, Hampton 5

» Dan Koller homered twice, capped by a game-winning home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat rival Hampton, 6-5, as the Rams won a third consecutive WPIAL baseball title.

No. 6: 2012 Class 3A – Blackhawk 1, Belle Vernon 0

» Brendan McKay retired the first 17 Belle Vernon batters he faced in helping Blackhawk to a 1-0 victory.

No. 5: 2023 Class 6 – Mt. Lebanon 4, North Allegheny 0

» Miami recruit David Shields held second-seeded North Allegheny hitless as No. 5 Mt. Lebanon celebrated a second straight WPIAL title with a 4-0 win in the Class 6A final.

No. 4: 2013 Class 3A – South Park 4, Hopewell 3 in 9 innings

» South Park needed endurance to claim its first WPIAL crown by winning the league’s longest title game since 1975, when Beaver Falls beat Springdale in 13 innings.

No. 3: 2018 Class 5A – North Hills 3, Mars 2 in 11 innings

» Joe Pusateri’s single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning scored pinch runner Tanner Schmitt with the game-winner as North Hills defeated Mars, 3-2, in the Class 5A title game.

No. 2: 2022 Class 4A – West Mifflin 5, Montour 4 in 12 innings

» West Mifflin scored two runs in the top of the 12th and held off a Montour rally in the bottom of the inning to secure a 5-4 triumph.

No. 1: 2014 Class 3A – West Allegheny 5, Blackhawk 3 in 8 innings

» West Allegheny pushed two runs across in the top of the eighth as the Indians ended Blackhawk pitcher Brendan McKay’s scoreless-innings streak and won their fourth WPIAL title.

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