What to watch for in WPIAL sports for April 3, 2023: Baseball champs to open section play

Sunday, April 2, 2023 | 8:12 PM

While many teams in the lower classifications began section play last week, most WPIAL baseball teams will start their section schedule Monday.

The three defending district champions are slated to begin section action.

In Class 6A, 2022 champion Mt. Lebanon might be thrilled to start in Section 2-6A after going 0-4 in nonsection games thus far.

The Blue Devils open on the road at Wild Things Park against Canon-McMillan.

The Big Macs are the only team in Section 2-6A with a winning record overall after winning two of their first three nonsection games.

Defending 5A champion West Allegheny is home Monday in a Section 3-5A opener against Mars.

Both teams have three wins, but the Indians have no losses whereas the Fightin’ Planets have two defeats this season.

West Mifflin surprised many by winning it all in 2022 in 4A. It begins Section 3-4A action at home against Elizabeth Forward.

The Titans are 2-0 overall, and the Warriors are 1-2.

Early diamond showdown in 2A

Last year was a memorable season for the Burgettstown baseball team.

It reached the semifinals in the WPIAL playoffs, where it lost to Neshannock, 5-3, in a 12-inning marathon classic. The Lancers beat Burgettstown again in the PIAA playoffs, this time by a score of 2-1.

The Blue Devils are off to a 2-0 start in Section 1-2A (3-0 overall) and are ranked No. 2 in the latest HSSN rankings.

Chartiers-Houston has yet to play a section game, but the Buccaneers are off to a 4-0 start and are ranked No. 3 in Class 2A.

The two collide for a key early-season section series Monday and Tuesday, with the opener played at Chartiers-Houston.

“The players got swept last year, and that hasn’t set well with them,” Chartiers-Houston coach Andy Manion said. “It’s always important to get off to a good start in section play.”

Softball section openers, too

Monday also marks the start of section play for most teams in WPIAL softball.

One of the section openers that stands out is in Section 1-4A as West Mifflin hosts Indiana.

The Titans were 4A quarterfinalists last season and are off to a 4-1 start overall.

The Little Indians won only three games a year ago and already have five wins in six games this season.

The Jeannette softball team also is enjoying nice turnaround.

Last year, the Jayhawks finished 1-15.

This season, Jeannette leads Section 3-A with a 2-0 section record, 3-0 overall. On Monday, the Jayhawks are at Riverview.

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