Westmoreland County WPIAL baseball playoff capsule for Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Monday, May 20, 2024 | 10:56 PM


WPIAL baseball playoffs

Class 5A

Semifinals

7-Penn-Trafford (18-3) vs. 6-Franklin Regional (14-7)

6 p.m. Tuesday at Gateway

Winner plays: Winner of 8-Shaler (16-5)/1-West Allegheny (16-3) & 4-Bethel Park (13-6)/12-Trinity (9-8) in championship game (date, time TBD) at Wild Things Park, Washington

Players to watch: Carmen Metcalfe, Penn-Trafford; Cole Brinker, Franklin Regional

Extra bases: A matchup of neighboring districts means Westmoreland County will have at least one team in the WPIAL finals. Franklin Regional swept the Warriors in the final Section 2-5A series of the season, winning 6-2 and 1-0. … In the second game, Owen Sinclair’s sacrifice fly in the fourth inning backed Max Bernadowski’s three-hitter. In the 6-2 win, Bernadowski went 3 for 4 with a double, Brinker 2 for 3 with a double, and Blake Bertucci added a double and RBI. Brayden Stone was 2 for 4 with a double for the Panthers. … Penn-Trafford is back in the semifinals for the second straight season. The Warriors blanked section foe Fox Chapel in the quarterfinals, 2-0, as Brandon Roher allowed two hits and struck out six to earn the win, and Hunter Brown came on for the save. Ethan Septak hit a solo home run, and Logan Matrisch went 2 for 2. The Warriors last made the WPIAL finals in 2019 under coach Dan Miller when they lost to Pine-Richland, 7-2. … Franklin Regional, the 2021 WPIAL champion, did not make the playoffs last season and is a win away from its second trip to the finals in four seasons. The Panthers ran their winning streak to five with a 13-1 six-inning win over North Hills in the quarters. Darren DeRiggi went 3 for 4 with a homer and four RBIs, while Brinker had two hits, including a double, and Luke Williams and NJ Ramchandran each doubled and drove in a run. … Last year, the Warriors fell to Bethel Park in the semis, 8-5, then won the third-place game, 3-1 over Plum, to get into the PIAA tournament. They lost in the state quarters. … The loser Tuesday will play in the third-place game. … Franklin Regional coach Bobby Saddler is a Penn-Trafford alum and former standout pitcher for the Warriors, who have never won a WPIAL title in baseball. … This will be the Warriors’ third straight game at Gateway. … The quarterfinals on the other side of the bracket are Tuesday and the semifinal is Wednesday.

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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