What to watch for in WPIAL sports for March 25, 2024: Section play begins in WPIAL baseball

Sunday, March 24, 2024 | 8:27 PM

Welcome to opening day of section play in 10 sections across four classifications in WPIAL baseball.

Section 1 in Class 5A; Sections 1, 3 and 4 in Class 3A; and all three sections in 2A and A begin play with temperatures sneaking into the 60’s.

Once again this season, the WPIAL will play section series games, home and away, every Monday and Tuesday.

Three defending champions hit the diamond Monday for their section opener.

WPIAL Class 3A champion Riverside (1-0) looks to improve its winning streak to 27 in a row when it visits rival Ellwood City (2-0) in Section 1-3A.

Last year’s 2A champion, Seton LaSalle (1-1), also opens its section on the road at New Brighton (0-0) in a key March series. The Lions finished one game behind the Section 2-2A champion Rebels a year ago.

Finally in Class A, Bishop Canevin (0-0) is the preseason favorite as it opens up play in Section 3-A at home against Sewickley Academy (0-0).

5A co-champs open on the road

The only section baseball action this week in the three highest classifications is in Section 1-5A where three games get the ball rolling in the only seven-team section in those three classes.

Only two games separated the top four playoff teams a year ago in Section 1, with Penn-Trafford and Plum finishing as co-champs with 9-3 records.

Both the Warriors and Mustangs are on the road Monday against the other two playoff teams from the section.

Penn-Trafford (1-0) visits Fox Chapel (1-1) at 4 p.m. while Plum (2-1) is at Armstrong (1-0) at 3:45 p.m.

The other section game pits Penn Hills (0-0) visiting Franklin Regional (2-3) at 4 p.m.

6A softball begins

With only nine teams in WPIAL Class 6A softball, district officials decided for this two-year cycle to go with one nine-team section instead of two sections with five and four teams each.

The bloated section opens up play Monday.

Defending 6A champion Hempfield opens up at home Monday against North Allegheny.

This is not only the section opener, but the season opener for the Spartans and Tigers.

Norwin (1-1) visits Canon-McMillan (0-0) in a rematch of a WPIAL quarterfinal game a year ago. The Knights beat the Big Macs in that postseason matchup, 8-5.

WPIAL runner-up Seneca Valley (3-0) visits Baldwin (1-1) while Pine-Richland (1-2) heads north to Butler (1-0).

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