Trib HSSN What to Watch for: Monday, April 12, 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021 | 10:29 PM

Over the past 10 seasons, there have been two dominant WPIAL baseball teams in the sport’s highest classification that have played in eight district title games, winning six Class AAAA or 6A championships.

Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley.

The Rams won in 2010, 2017 and 2019.

The Raiders won three championships in a four-year span between 2011-14.

Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley will meet for the first of back-to-back meeting Monday at Seneca Valley.

Both teams split their Section 1-6A openers last week, with Seneca Valley swapping wins with North Allegheny and Pine-Richland splitting with Central Catholic.

Both teams come into Monday’s contest with 3-2 overall records and high hopes. The Rams are ranked No. 4 and the Raiders No. 5 in the latest HSSN Class 6A rankings.

Three of the last six meetings have been decided by one run. Two others were decided by two runs.

Since expansion to six classes, Pine-Richland has won five of the six meetings.

Split decisions

If the first week is any indication, the race for a playoff spot in Section 2-6A will go down to the final out on the last day of section play.

All six baseball teams are tied for first place, meaning all six teams are tied for last place as well after three season-opening series splits.

Last week, Norwin split with Baldwin, Hempfield and Upper St. Clair went 1-1 against each other and Mt. Lebanon and Canon-McMillan each won at home and lost on the road in their two games.

This week’s matchups starting Monday include Baldwin at Hempfield, Mt. Lebanon visiting Norwin and Canon-McMillan hosting Upper St. Clair. The Panthers-Big Macs game can be seen on HSSN at 4 p.m.

All three will flip-flop home field when they meet on Tuesday.

For the record, if all six teams were to finish 5-5, all six would qualify for the WPIAL baseball playoffs.

Early softball showdowns

A share of first place will be at stake in three WPIAL softball games Monday.

In Section 2-6A, Norwin and North Allegheny are tied for first place with Pine-Richland. The Knights visit the Tigers at 7 p.m. on HSSN.

In Section 3-5A, Shaler and Hampton are tied for first place with North Hills. The Talbots will host the Titans at 3:45 p.m.

In Section 3-3A, Waynesburg and Mt. Pleasant are tied for first place with Southmoreland. The Raiders visit the Vikings at 4 p.m.

First place outright in Section 3-4A is at stake when Beaver (2-0) hosts Montour (3-0) at 4:15 p.m.

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