What to watch for in WPIAL sports for June 5, 2023: PIAA baseball, softball playoffs commence
Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 10:20 PM
The WPIAL and the other 11 district baseball and softball playoffs are in the books.
All of the winners, along with some of the runners-up and consolation survivors will now turn their full attention to the PIAA diamond postseason over the next two weeks, starting Monday.
Two WPIAL baseball teams won state gold a year ago and neither team was a district champ, giving hope to the 13 District 7 baseball teams that are participating in the 2023 PIAA baseball playoffs without recently draping district gold medals around their necks.
Bethel Park (17-5) will open up defense of its back-to-back Class 5A championships with a trip to Central Pennsylvania and Memorial Park to face District 3 champion Mechanicsburg (18-6) at 4 p.m.
The other defending PIAA champion from the WPIAL is Montour (20-4). The Spartans are the No. 3 seed out of District 7 in Class 4A and will head north to Mercyhurst University in Erie to take on District 10 champion Cathedral Prep (21-1) at 4:30 p.m.
In the last five PIAA postseasons, eight WPIAL teams have won state baseball gold: Bethel Park in 2021 and 2022, Montour in 2022, New Castle in 2021, Canon-McMillan, Ringgold and Vincentian Academy in 2018 and Latrobe in 2017.
Baseball champs enjoy roads less traveled
The six WPIAL champions will either be playing at home or close to home Monday in their PIAA openers.
• 3A champion Riverside (21-0) will host District 6 runner-up Tyrone (12-11) at 3 p.m.
There are 11 other PIAA first-round games involving WPIAL teams.
These Nos. 2, 3 or 4 seeds out of the WPIAL will hit the road to other districts to battle for a spot in the state quarterfinals Thursday.
• North Allegheny (16-7) heads to Erie to take on District 10 champion McDowell (15-6) at Mercyhurst University at 11:30 a.m. in Class 6A. (HSSN)
• Penn-Trafford (15-6) plays District 6 champion Central Mountain (20-1) at Lock Haven University at 4 p.m. in 5A.
• Latrobe (17-7) goes up against District 6 champion Bellefonte (16-5) at Governor’s Park in Bellefonte at 2 p.m. in 4A.
• Indiana (15-10) visits District 3 champion East Pennsboro (15-7) at 4 p.m. in 4A. (HSSN)
• Avonworth (18-6) plays at District 6 champion Philipsburg-Osceola (16-5) at 4 p.m. in 3A.
• East Allegheny (14-7) goes north to Erie to play District 10 champion Fairview (17-2) at Mercyhurst University at 2 p.m. in 3A.
• Serra Catholic (19-3) will take on District 10 champion Sharpsville (14-7) at Slippery Rock University at 4:30 p.m. in 2A.
• California (14-8) visits Southern Fulton (22-1) at 4:30 p.m. in A.
• Class A Union (14-5) opens up the state playoffs by facing District 10 champion West Middlesex (14-9) at Slippery Rock University at 2 p.m.
The ‘Lopes and Lancers hoisted state softball gold last season.
In the opening round Monday, Avonworth (21-1) will face a tough task in District 10 runner-up Fort LeBoeuf (20-1) at North Allegheny at 2 p.m. The Bison were undefeated, but lost to Jamestown in the D-10 title game.
Neshannock (20-0) looks to break a tie for what is believed to be the longest winning streak in WPIAL softball history when it hosts Penns Valley (16-5) at 4:30 p.m. on Trib HSSN. The Lancers have won 46 in a row, which is tied with Hempfield for what could be the most consecutive wins in district history.
Besides Avonworth and Neshannock, four other District 7 softball champions will stay close to open as they begin their quest for more gold.
• 6A champion Hempfield (18-3) will host District 6 winner Mifflin County (12-9) at 11 a.m. The Spartans are the only WPIAL team in the 6A bracket.
• 5A champ Trinity (19-2) will play Solanco (21-3) from District 3 at North Allegheny at 4 p.m. (HSSN)
• Class A champion Union (17-3) will take on District 5 runner-up Berlin-Brothersvalley (13-8) at Neshannock at 2 p.m. (HSSN)
Other state softball lid lifters
There are a dozen other PIAA first-round softball playoff games involving WPIAL teams.
These Nos. 2, 3 or 4 seeds out of the WPIAL will head on the bus and prepare for a lengthy trek to other districts to battle for a spot in the state second round Thursday.
• Armstrong (19-2) will visit District 3 runner-up Mechanicsburg (22-3) at 4 p.m. in 5A.
• Shaler (19-1) will travel to District 6 champion Central Mountain (16-3) at 3 p.m. in 5A.
• Montour (15-4) is at District 6 champion Bellefonte (14-5) at 4:30 p.m. in 4A.
• Elizabeth Forward (18-1) heads north to play District 10 champion Cathedral Prep (20-2) at Penn State-Behrend at 2 p.m. in 4A.
• Southmoreland (16-3) visits District 5 champ Chestnut Ridge (16-3) at 4:30 p.m. in 3A.
• Burrell (14-6) at District 6 champion Juniata (22-3) at 4 p.m. in 3A.
• Waynesburg Central (16-5) battles District 10 champion Jamestown (20-2) at Allegheny College at 3 p.m. in 3A. (HSSN)
• Laurel (16-3) travels to District 5 champion Everett (22-0) at 4:30 p.m. in 2A.
• Greensburg Central Catholic (14-3) visits Cranberry (13-7) at 4 p.m. in 2A.
• Chartiers-Houston (14-6) will face District 10 winner Cambridge Springs (14-4) at Penn State-Behrend at 4 p.m. in A.
• Frazier (14-3) will take on District 6 champion Claysburg-Kimmel (20-3) at Central Cambria at 4 p.m.
Tags: Armstrong, Avonworth, Belle Vernon, Bethel Park, Bishop Canevin, Burgettstown, Burrell, California, Carmichaels, Chartiers-Houston, East Allegheny, Elizabeth Forward, Frazier, Greensburg C.C., Hempfield, Hopewell, Indiana, Latrobe, Laurel, Montour, Mt. lebanon, Neshannock, North Allegheny, Riverside, Serra Catholic, Seton La Salle, Shaler, Southmoreland, Trinity, Union, Waynesburg
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