Westmoreland baseball/softball preview capsules: Games of Tuesday, May 28
Monday, May 27, 2019 | 8:27 PM
Third-place consolation games
4:30 p.m. at Washington & Jefferson
Players to watch: Michael Klingensmith, Sr. P, Franklin Regional; Joey Craska, Jr., P/3B, Mars
Extra bases: The winner goes to the PIAA playoffs. Franklin Regional is looking to advance to the state postseason for the first time since 2001 and will try to bounce back after being upset by Laurel Highlands, 4-1, in the semifinals. Klingensmith had a perfect game going through four innings in the semifinals. He gave up four runs and struck out five in a complete game. The Panthers had won 14 consecutive games prior to the semifinal setback. The run scored in the semifinal was their lowest total all season and only the third time they had scored fewer than three runs. … Mars is seeking a third consecutive state playoff berth. After upsetting top-seeded West Allegheny, 4-3, in 11 innings the day before, Mars went into its semifinal game Thursday with a depleted pitching staff and fell 8-2 to Shaler. Craska, a Virginia Tech recruit, allowed one hit and struck out nine in 51⁄3 innings of relief in the semifinal win. Planets shortstop JJ Wetherholt is a West Virginia commit.
2 p.m. at Washington & Jefferson
Players to watch: Jarett Bach, Sr., P, Yough; Rocco Bernadina, So., P, New Castle
Extra bases: Yough was one inning away from clinching a spot in the championship, but Beaver rallied for seven runs in the seventh inning for a 7-2 victory. The Cougars are seeking their first PIAA playoff bid since 2003. Bach, a Pitt recruit, struck out 10 and allowed only five hits and one walk in a 3-1 win over South Park in the quarterfinals. The Cougars had won five of their last six games before the semifinal loss. … New Castle pushed Blackhawk to the limit but fell in walk-off fashion 4-3 in the semifinals. The Red Hurricane have had a wild postseason, defeating top-seeded Greensburg Salem, 1-0, in 11 innings in a game that was suspended because of darkness Tuesday at Fox Chapel and finished Wednesday at North Allegheny. Bernadina has allowed one run in 14 innings in the playoffs. He struck out 11 in an 8-1 win over Elizabeth Forward in the first round.
1-Penn-Trafford (18-2) vs. 6-Franklin Regional (13-8)
5 p.m. at Seton Hill
Players to watch: Emma Armstrong, Sr., 1B, Penn-Trafford; Angalee Beall, Sr., P, Franklin Regional
Extra bases: Penn-Trafford built a four-run advantage in its semifinal game, but four errors proved costly as Connellsville rallied for a 10-4 victory. Penn-Trafford swept Franklin Regional in Section 1 play, winning 7-1 on April 16 and 4-0 on May 2, although the Warriors struggled to hit debuting pitcher Olivia Yurinko, who was effective. The Warriors are playing a section opponent for the third consecutive playoff game. They were undefeated in section play in the regular season (14-0). The Warriors have allowed three or fewer runs in 15 games. Their last appearance in a consolation game was in 2015, a 2-1 loss to Latrobe. … Franklin Regional was bounced in the semifinals 4-2 by two-time defending champion West Allegheny. The Panthers hope the third time is the charm against Penn-Trafford and will look to follow Connellsville, which beat the Warriors in its third try. The Panthers upset No. 3 Hampton in the quarterfinals behind a shutout from Beall and RBI doubles from Sarah Cowell and Yurinko. Beall had three hits in the semifinal loss. Franklin Regional last made the PIAA playoffs in 2009, which was also its last WPIAL championship.
— Jerin Steele
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
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