Trib HSSN baseball team of the week for April 7, 2024

Sunday, April 7, 2024 | 5:12 PM

Trib HSSN baseball team of the week: Shady Side Academy Bulldogs

Coach: Sean Wilson (third season)

Records: Shady Side Academy is 4-0 in Section 3-3A, 4-0 overall

#Earned: Shady Side Academy was one of the few district baseball teams to get its two section series games in last week, sweeping Burrell. With both games being played at the renovated turf facility at Shady Side Academy, the Bulldogs beat the Buccaneers on Thursday, 8-4. Then 24 hours later, SSA brought out the brooms and defeated Burrell, 6-3. The wins, combined with a sweep of Deer Lakes in the section series in the final week of March, lifted Shady Side Academy into first place in Section 3-3A with two section games coming up this week against Valley.

Standout performers: On Thursday, the Shady Side Academy trio of freshmen David Dillon and Charlie Wanless and senior Zachary Barber each had two hits and an RBI, while senior Josh Valinsky also had two hits with a double and senior Caden Green had two RBIs as the Bulldogs beat the Bucs by four runs. Then on Friday, junior Soren Cooper was the winning pitcher and Dillon registered the save as SSA won by three runs over Burrell. Cooper and Dillon did the job at the plate as well as each singled and doubled while Green added two hits and two RBIs.

Last year: While Shady Side Academy is off to a 4-0 start this season following sweeps of Deer Lakes and Burrell, a year ago the Bulldogs split with both and were 2-2 after four section games. SSA finished 6-6 in the section and in third place behind East Allegheny and Freeport. It marked the third straight season the Bulldogs qualified for the WPIAL playoffs, but after a Class 3A first round loss to Neshannock, 6-5, it was the third straight opening round loss for Shady Side Academy.

Remember when: Prior to the current three-year postseason run, the Shady Side Academy baseball program had missed the district playoffs five years in a row. This season marks the 15th anniversary of the Bulldogs’ only WPIAL baseball championship. In the 2009 Class 2A finals, Billy Nickel was intentionally walked in a tie game with the winning run at second base when younger brother Brian Nickel singled home courtesy runner Scott Majesky with the golden run as Shady Side Academy edged North Catholic, 3-2. Tim Giel was the winning pitcher for SSA.

2023 Trib HSSN Baseball Teams of the Week

Week 11 – Riverside Panthers

Week 10 – Hopewell Vikings

Week 9 – Riverside Panthers

Week 8 – Neshannock Lancers

Week 7 – Mohawk Warriors

Week 6 – Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils

Week 5 – South Side Rams

Week 4 – Pine-Richland Rams

Week 3 – Canon-McMillan Big Macs

Week 2 – Mars Fightin’ Planets

Week 1 – Shaler Titans


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