What to watch for in WPIAL sports for March 28, 2024: Rivals Mt. Lebanon, USC to meet

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 | 10:09 PM

Two years ago, rivals collided on the district’s biggest stage, playing for WPIAL baseball gold.

There is not as much at stake Thursday when the schools meet in a nonsection contest, but the intensity will be there as it always is for Mt. Lebanon against Upper St. Clair.

The visiting Blue Devils 2-1 after winning their Wednesday game against Seneca Valley, 1-0.

The Panthers have split their first four games this season.

This will be the second meeting of the season already between Class 6A Mt. Lebanon and Class 5A Upper St. Clair.

The two teams opened up against each other March 15 with the Blue Devils scoring two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh on a Nolan Smith walk-off single to win 4-3.

Senior Aiden Crochier homered for USC.

In the 2022 Class 6A district title game, Mt. Lebanon edged Upper St. Clair, 2-1.

The Blue Devils’ Jack Smith allowed only two hits and struck out 14 Panthers in a golden championship game performance. A Derrick Shields sac fly scored Tyler Smith, who had tripled, for the game-winning run in the sixth inning for Lebo.

Wild matchup — Take 2

Two days after rain postponed the second game of their section series, Washington will host Bentworth in a Section 1-2A game slated for 4 p.m. Thursday.

The contest takes place at the home of the WPIAL baseball championships, Wild Things Park. This spring, it is also the regular season home for Wash High and McGuffey.

The Little Prexies were 2-1 after their section opener at Bentworth on Monday, after they won only four games a season ago.

Washington defeated Bentworth, 6-3, on Monday.

The Bearcats were a playoff team a year ago and enter Thursday’s game 0-2.

6A playoff battles revisited

A year ago, the final two playoff spots in WPIAL 6A softball came down to a three-team chase for two spots.

Pine-Richland and Canon-McMillan finished tied for the final two postseason spots, one game ahead of Mt. Lebanon, which was left outside the playoff bubble.

On Thursday, Canon-McMillan hosts Mt. Lebanon.

The Big Macs are 0-1 after losing their 6A and season opener to Norwin Monday.

The Blue Devils are in search of their first win of the season following a pair of nonsection losses.

Pine-Richland visits Seneca Valley Thursday in a rematch of a 6A quarterfinal game last season.

The Raiders eliminated the Rams, 7-2.

Bash at the beach

Three district softball teams continue their southern trip at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

All three WPIAL teams will go head-to-head against high schools from the Buckeye State.

Moon (0-1) will face Columbiana (Ohio) at 1:30 p.m.

Beaver (1-1) takes on Genoa (Ohio) at 8 a.m.

South Allegheny (2-1) battles Butler (Ohio) at 11 a.m.

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