Westmoreland County baseball notebook: 3-game series on horizon for Hempfield, Norwin

Thursday, April 21, 2022 | 9:01 AM

Teams are still adjusting to playing two-game series on back-to-back days, but the WPIAL is switching to a new format next season.

There will be three-game series in the largest classification, which fields the fewest teams.

Class 6A will play three games in a row against each section opponent, a measure the WPIAL took after coaches took the idea and made it a formal request.

The games will be played Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Schools will host the first and third games one year and then host Game 2 the next year of the two-year cycle.

Norwin and Hempfield are the only 6A teams from Westmoreland County. Class 6A has 11 teams spread over two sections.

All other classifications will continue playing the two-game format.

Realignment time

The WPIAL standings will look different next year with the start of a new two-year enrollment cycle.

The biggest local mover in realignment will be Latrobe, which drops a class to 4A. The Wildcats will be in Section 2 with Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold and Uniontown.

In Class 3A, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, Yough and Greensburg Salem will be in the same section. Greensburg Salem drops from 4A.

Ligonier Valley will drop to 2A, and Greensburg Central Catholic will move up to 2A.

Nick of time

Ligonier Valley senior Nick Beitel gave the Rams a dramatic win over Deer Lakes.

Beitel delivered a walk-off single with two outs and the bases loaded in a 7-6 victory at Ligonier.

Beitel went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs in the victory.

Ty fly ball

Norwin baseball powered its way back to .500 behind Ty Stecko. The senior Mount St. Mary’s commit delivered a grand slam and six RBIs to lead the Knights (4-4, 2-2) to a 14-4 victory over Gateway.

Senior Jake Kendro added a double, home run and two RBIs.

Double play

A pair of Monessen players had quite a two-game series against Mapletown.

They were 8 for 10 with six runs, three doubles and 10 RBIs, and they combined to pitch seven innings and strike out nine.

Senior first baseman Jack Sacco went 3 for 4 with seven RBIs and picked up a pitching win, and freshman catcher R.J. DiEugenio went 5 for 6 with two doubles, six runs and three RBIs. He also pitched and earned a save, striking out four.

DiEugenio added an unassisted double play in the second game.

Monessen (2-4, 2-2) won by scores of 12-2 and 11-1.

Big game hunting

Monday looks like a key section date for a number of teams in the section pennant races. The teams will meet again Tuesday — weather permitting — at the other team’s field.

Some notable matchups include Canon-McMillan at Hempfield (Class 6A), Gateway at Franklin Regional (5A), Kiski Area at Latrobe (5A) and Laurel Highlands at Greensburg Salem (4A).

Save the date

The WPIAL baseball championships will be May 31 and June 1 at Wild Things Park in Washington.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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