Trib HSSN baseball team of the week for April 21, 2024

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Sunday, April 21, 2024 | 7:52 PM


Trib HSSN baseball team of the week: Pine-Richland Rams

Coach: Kurt Wolfe (19th season)

Records: Pine-Richland is 8-1 in Section 1-6A, 12-2 overall

#Earned: In one of the most impressive weeks since the advent of the section series in WPIAL baseball, Pine-Richland swept its scheduled three-game series and concluded another sweep with two other victories. Pitching was the key as the Rams used 10 different arms in limiting opponents to 11 runs in the five section wins. Pine-Richland edged Seneca Valley in three epic games. The Raiders were 3-0 in the section coming in, but lost three one-run games to the Rams by scores of 3-2, 5-4 in eight innings and 3-2 in eight innings. P-R then finished off a three-game series sweep of Allderdice that began the week before with one game before the Rams defeated the Dragons, 13-2 and 6-1.

Standout performers: Pine-Richland has 23 players on its varsity roster and nearly needed all of them to get through the week. Some of the pitching heroes were junior ace Keegan Deihl; junior closer Tristan Farrar; seniors Nathan Kush, Reece Rupert, Chase Caricato and Tyler Vogel; junior Noah Mackie; sophomore Drew Boivin; and junior Thomas Kapanowski, who had never pitched in a varsity game before throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Juniors Sam Heckert and Anthony Mengine led the Rams’ offense with two multiple-hit games and senior Tommy Zimmerman, out with a shoulder injury, delivering in his first at-bat of the season with walk-off single in the eighth inning in Tuesday’s win over Seneca Valley, 5-4.

Last year: Pine-Richland finished as tri-champions in Section 1-6A with North Allegheny and Seneca Valley, ending the regular season with a 14-6 overall record. Pine-Richland was the top seed when the 6A brackets came out and advanced to the final four with a wild, 14-12 victory over No. 8-seeded Hempfield in the quarterfinals. The Rams led after three innings, 9-0, but had to hold off a furious Spartans comeback to advance. Pine-Richland went from scoring 14 runs one night to being shut out the next evening as Matthew Delvaux and Mt. Lebanon blanked the Rams in the semifinals, 3-0.

Remember when: In the last two decades, the Pine-Richland baseball team has won six WPIAL crowns and one PIAA title (2006). The long run of success started 20 years ago with the program’s first championship in 2004. Led by senior catcher Neil Walker and senior shortstop Dale Mollenhauer, the Rams won the Section 3-3A title (3A was the largest classification) by two games over Kiski Area and Shaler. Pine-Richland defeated Bethel Park in the first round of the 3A playoffs, 9-2, edged Latrobe in a wild quarterfinal, 11-9, and cruised past Kiski Area in the semifinals, 9-1, before winning the school’s first baseball championship with an 8-1 win over North Allegheny. It was the first of three straight championships for the Rams, who capped off their three-year run with a PIAA stretch that included victories over Langley, Hershey, Moon and Sun Valley in the finals, 4-0.

2024 Trib HSSN Baseball Teams of the Week

Week 2 – Eden Christian Academy Warriors

Week 1 – Shady Side Academy Bulldogs

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