Westmoreland County baseball notebook: Special season might be in store for GCC

Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 5:40 PM

One game was all it took for Greensburg Central Catholic to realize it has some promising potential at the plate.

The Centurions (5-1), the TribHSSN No. 1 team in WPIAL Class A to open the week, won their first five Section 2 games handily, scoring double-digit runs in each.

“After our first in-conference game vs. Monessen, I realized that we have some very special hitters on our team,” junior pitcher Zach David said, “and that our lineup is solid from one through nine.”

David, who also plays infield and outfield spots, said the Centurions might have benefited from a covid shutdown that delayed their season opener until April 8.

GCC lost that game to Southmoreland, which came back to win 6-4. But the Centurions revved up the offense from there, defeating Monessen twice, 12-1 and 14-1; Bishop Canevin, 10-0; and sweeping West Greene, 10-3 and 12-2.

GCC has a new coach this season, Tom Appleby.

“I honestly think that the time that we had to wait before playing our first game due to covid truly helped us hone our swings and become a better all-around team,” David said. “All of our coaches have done a fantastic job helping us get better in every facet of the game, and we are a very closely knit team that helps each other get better every day.”

Still perfect

There is one undefeated team left in WPIAL baseball: Franklin Regional.

The Panthers are 8-0 with two section series remaining. They lead Section 1 with a 6-0 mark, 1½ games ahead of Gateway.

Norwin-Hempfield awaits

The Section 2 series many people want to see won’t happen until next month.

Norwin and Hempfield, who were tied for first place, are not scheduled to play their back-to-back, home-and-home series until May 3-4. The section title seems to lie in the balance now but could be even more pressing by that time on the schedule, especially with consecutive games against one another.

Moving on up

A number of local teams have made moves in the TribHSSN rankings.

Hempfield went from the dwelling of the unranked to No. 4 in Class 6A.

Franklin Regional, which keeps on winning, stepped up from No. 2 to No. 1 in 5A. Belle Vernon moved from No. 3 to 2 in 4A, and Greensburg Central Catholic took over No. 1 in Class A, up two spots from No. 3.

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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