Westmoreland County high school baseball notebook: Rain sends teams scrambling to find turf fields

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Thursday, April 11, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Last week’s bout of rainy weather shined a spotlight on fields that are fully covered with artificial turf.

Some area schools have fields that are carpeted only on the infield, leaving outfields open to the elements, even with proper drainage.

All-turf fields are the envy of the WPIAL neighborhood when the weather wins.

Several such fields were used for games. No Offseason in Russelton, for example, is the home field for Central Catholic. With Hempfield’s field underwater, the Spartans had to play two of the three games of their section series on the turf at No Offseason.

Wild Things Park in Washington also was used for games. Mt. Pleasant played McGuffey there, and Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair also made the trip to Washington.

Gateway, which unveiled its sleek all-turf field last season, hosted Norwin and Baldwin for a doubleheader Sunday.

Seton Hill’s field usually is a viable option for local teams to rent, but the Griffins had several home games last week, so the facility was not available.

Most venues charge a rental fee, which sometimes is negotiated by the visiting teams.

Spartans rolling

Hempfield moved to 9-0 with a 9-2 win over Baldwin on Wednesday.

The Spartans already had surpassed their best start in the coach Tim Buzzard era (2007-present), which was 6-0 in 2014. But the team hasn’t started 9-0 in at least 30 years.

Rankings

Undefeated Hempfield moved from No. 4 to No. 2 in the TribLive Class 6A rankings.

Latrobe also bumped up one spot, from No. 4 to No. 3 in 5A, and Greensburg Central Catholic remained No. 3 in 2A.

By the numbers

Some local baseball notes in numeric representation:

73: Runs scored by Franklin Regional through nine games, a total that was leading the WPIAL. More than a quarter of those runs came in the Panthers’ 21-0 win over Gateway.

17: Strikeouts for Southmoreland pitcher Ty Keffer in a 5-1 win over Brownsville. The total is a career high for the senior.

15: The strikeout total for Belle Vernon ace Colton Lee in a 3-1 win over Uniontown. He tossed a complete-game one-hitter.

13: Days between games for Ligonier Valley. Because of weather-related backups, the Rams finally took the field Tuesday after last playing March 27 against Greensburg Central Catholic.

10: Innings Yough and Waynesburg played Tuesday. Waynesburg won 6-3.

4: Wins for Jeannette, the same number the Jayhawks had all of last season (4-13-2).

2: WPIAL teams with 9-0 records through Wednesday’s games: Hempfield and Thomas Jefferson.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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