What to watch for in WPIAL sports for May 28, 2024: PIAA tournament bids up for grabs

Monday, May 27, 2024 | 10:51 PM

In sports, the term consolation is described as a round or contest for tournament entrants who have been eliminated before the finals, often to determine third and fourth place.There are 20 WPIAL baseball and softball teams that will get a second chance coming up Tuesday and Wednesday with the district diamond consolation games.

Five of the games will be played between two teams that have already clinched a PIAA playoff berth, but the game will determine the third and fourth seeds out of District 7.

However, the season is on the line in the other five consolation games.

A state postseason spot goes to the winner, while the season is over for the loser.

So while a lot of eyes will be on the WPIAL championships at Wild Things Park and Lilley Field the next three days, here is a rundown of the eight consolation games on Tuesday and two slated for Wednesday, weather permitting, of course.

WPIAL Class 5A baseball consolation game

Franklin Regional (14-7) vs. West Allegheny (17-3)

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, at W&J’s Ross Memorial Park

Audio on Trib HSSN

West Allegheny was the top seed in the 5A playoffs after sharing the Section 3 crown with North Hills.

Following a first-round bye, the Indians shut out 2023 district and state champion Shaler, 5-0, behind Brandan Boyce, who allowed one hit and struck out five Titans. Ben Kern led the West A offense, going 2 for 4 with a run batted in.

Franklin Regional was the No. 6 seed after finishing in a four-way tie for first place in Section 1 with Penn-Trafford, Fox Chapel and Plum.

The Panthers came back to defeat Connellsville in the first round, 2-1, then crushed North Hills in the quarterfinals, 13-1, thanks in part to Darren DeRiggi, who was 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs.

In the semifinals, West Allegheny lost to Bethel Park, 7-6, while Franklin Regional fell to rival Penn-Trafford, 10-3.

The winner advances to the PIAA 5A first round to play either Bellefonte or Clearfield.

WPIAL Class 4A baseball consolation game

Thomas Jefferson (19-3) vs. Montour (15-7)

6 p.m. Tuesday, at W&J’s Ross Memorial Park

Audio on Trib HSSN

Thomas Jefferson was the No. 2 seed in the 4A playoffs after finishing tied for first place in Section 3 with West Mifflin.

The Jaguars rolled past Ringgold in the first round, 11-3, as Alex Warden went 3 for 4 with an double and an RBI. TJ then edged Chartiers Valley in the quarterfinals, 4-3. Blake Primrose was 2 for 4 with a triple and three RBIs.

Montour was the No. 4 seed after winning the outright Section 1 championship.

The Spartans edged Uniontown in the first round, 3-1, as Jake Robinson had a double and drove home two. In the quarterfinals, Robinson went 2 for 3 and Andrew Porto was 2 for 4 to lead the black and gold past Latrobe, 9-5.

In the semifinals, Thomas Jefferson lost big to North Catholic, 12-4, while Montour was whitewashed by Indiana, 11-0.

Both teams have qualified for the state playoffs. The winner will play District 10 champion Cathedral Prep, while the loser takes on the District 3 winner, either ELCO or East Pennsboro.

WPIAL Class 3A baseball consolation game

Burrell (13-9) vs. South Allegheny (17-5)

1 p.m. Tuesday, at W&J’s Ross Memorial Park

Audio on Trib HSSN

South Allegheny was the No. 4 seed after winning the Section 2 crown outright.

The Gladiators pitched shutouts in their first two playoff wins. SA blanked McGuffey in the opener, 7-0, as Trenton Popovich threw a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts. Popovich was on the hill again in the 2-0 quarterfinal win over Shenango, allowing three hits and striking out six.

Burrell had enjoyed a magical run as the No. 14 seed after it finished tied for second place with Shady Side Academy in Section 3.

The Buccaneers first upset No. 3 Mt. Pleasant, 6-2, as A.J. McLaffery had a two-run triple. In the 1-0 quarterfinal win over Neshannock, Stevie Hasson allowed only two hits while striking out six.

In the semifinals, South Allegheny lost to top seed and defending champion Riverside, 2-0, while Burrell dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker in eight innings to Avonworth.

Both teams have qualified for the state playoffs. The winner will play the District 6 champion, either Central Cambria or Central (Martinsburg), while the loser takes on District 10 winner Fairview.

WPIAL Class 2A baseball consolation game

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (17-5) vs. Burgettstown (13-4)

3:30 p.m. Tuesday, at W&J’s Ross Memorial Park

Audio on Trib HSSN

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was the No. 2 seed after it won the Section 2 title outright.

The Chargers enjoyed a first-round bye before beating Riverview in the second round, 1-0. Quinn Santelli was the winning pitcher and drove home the game’s only run.

Burgettstown was the No. 4 seed in Class 2A after it captured the Section 1 championship outright.

The Blue Devils rolled past Jeannette in the first round, 10-3, as Brodie Kuzior picked up the win with 13 strikeouts. Eric Kovach starred on the hill for the Devils in the quarterfinals, striking out 13 in 5 1/3 innings in a win over Greensburg Central Catholic, 3-1.

In the semifinals, OLSH lost to section rival and defending 2A champion Seton LaSalle, while Burgettstown lost to top-seeded Serra Catholic, 5-1.

The winner advances to the PIAA postseason where it will face the District 9 champion, either Moniteau or Redbank Valley.

WPIAL Class A baseball consolation game

Avella (11-6) vs. Carmichaels (13-5)

4 p.m. Wednesday, at W&J’s Ross Memorial Park

Avella was the No. 6 seed and Carmichaels was No. 8 after both finished in a tie with West Greene for second place in Section 1-A behind section champ Fort Cherry.

The Eagles beat Springdale in the first round, 5-3, giving the program its first postseason victory in 15 years. Bryce Wright allowed two hits and registered 13 strikeouts. In the quarterfinals, the Eagles stunned No. 3 Fort Cherry, 6-3 as Brayden Fuller had two hits and two RBIs.

The Mighty Mikes cruised past Carlynton in the opening round, 9-1, as Liam Lohr was the winning pitcher with nine strikeouts, plus he had two hits and three RBIs. In the second round, the Mikes were mighty as they upset top seed Union, 3-1. Lohr was the winning pitcher again, giving up three hits and picking up seven strikeouts.

In the semifinals, Avella fell to No. 2 Eden Christian Academy, 11-2, while Carmichaels lost to defending champion Bishop Canevin, 7-1.

The winner moves on to the PIAA Class A playoffs to battle District 10 champion West Middlesex.

WPIAL Class 5A softball consolation game

Latrobe (11-11) vs. Penn-Trafford (14-6)

3 p.m. Tuesday, at Gateway

Penn-Trafford was the No. 4 seed and Latrobe was the No. 11 after the two section rivals finished second and third, respectively, behind Armstrong in Section 2-5A.

The two split their regular season games with Latrobe winning the first meeting, 6-4, then Penn-Trafford taking the second contest, 8-2.

The Warriors edged Bethel Park in the first round, 3-2, as Lorryn Sepe had a home run and two runs scored. In the quarterfinals, P-T crushed Shaler, 13-4, as Mack Keenan was 3 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs.

The Wildcats upset No. 6 Trinity in the first round, 5-1, and then stunned No. 3 West Allegheny in the quarterfinals, 5-4. In those two wins, Kayla Williams was the winning pitcher in both, combining to strike out 12, while also collecting four hits and four RBIs as the plate.

In the semifinals, Penn-Trafford was ousted by top-seeded Armstrong in eight innings, 8-6, while Latrobe lost to Thomas Jefferson, 4-2.

Both teams have qualified for the state softball playoffs. The winner will be the No. 3 seed out of the WPIAL and face the winner of Central Mountain against DuBois, while the loser is the 4 seed and takes on the Armstrong vs. Thomas Jefferson WPIAL championship game winner.

WPIAL Class 4A softball consolation game

Blackhawk (10-8) vs. Chartiers Valley (16-4)

3 p.m. Tuesday at North Allegheny

Chartiers Valley was the No. 4 seed after finishing in second place in Section 3-4A, while Blackhawk was the No. 11 seed after it ended up in fourth place in the same section.

Chartiers Valley swept Blackhawk in their two regular season meetings, 7-5 and 8-3.

The Colts crushed Highlands in the first round, 14-4, as Delaney O’Connor was 3 for 4 with two doubles and five RBIs. In Round 2, Lily Duffil was 2 for 2 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs as the Colts routed Montour, 19-2.

The Cougars upset defending champion Belle Vernon in the first round, 7-5, thanks to Zoey Lindner going 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs. In the quarterfinals, the Cougars pulled off another surprise, stunning No. 3 Indiana, 5-3. Mia Yenges was 2 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs for the green and gold.

In the semifinals, Chartiers Valley lost to top-seeded Elizabeth Forward, 7-2, while Blackhawk ran out of eyebrow raisers in losing to No. 2 Hampton, 10-0.

The winner earns a PIAA playoff berth against District 10 champion Cathedral Prep.

WPIAL Class 3A softball consolation game

Ligonier Valley (15-6) vs. Avonworth (14-4)

5 p.m. Tuesday at Gateway

The 3A consolation softball game pits No. 1 seed Avonworth against No. 2 Ligonier Valley in a matchup many felt would be the championship matchup after the Antelopes won Section 1 and the Rams claimed the Section 3 title.

The Antelopes beat Hopewell in the first round, 12-2, and then blanked Yough in the quarterfinals, 4-0. In those games, the ‘Lopes were led by Alivia Lantzy, who allowed no runs, three hits and struck out 15 in the two wins combined.

The Rams also had dominating pitching in the first two rounds, a whitewash of Keystone Oaks, 8-0, and a shutout of Ellwood City, 1-0. Cheyenne Piper threw back-to-back playoff no-hitters, striking out a combined 31 batters in the two victories.

In the semifinals, Avonworth was stunned by No. 4 Mohawk, 5-3, while Ligonier Valley was no-hit by Sydney Sekely of South Park, 3-0.

Both teams have qualified for the PIAA postseason. The winner will take on the District 6 champion, either Forest Hills or Juniata, while the consolation game loser faces District 10 winner Sharon.

WPIAL Class 2A softball consolation game

Laurel (17-5) vs. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (14-5)

5 p.m. Tuesday at North Allegheny

This is a battle of runners-up as No. 3 Laurel finished in second place behind Neshannock in Section 1-2A while No. 5 OLSH finished second to Bentworth in Section 3-2A.

The Spartans enjoyed a first-round bye, and then blanked Charleroi in the quarterfinals, 4-0. Autumn Boyd allowed two hits and no runs while striking out 13. She also had a double and an RBI.

The Chargers defeated Steel Valley in the opening round, 8-5, thanks to a home run and two RBIs by Leann Walzer. In the quarterfinals, Walzer had a single, double and triple with five RBIs in a victory over Serra Catholic, 10-5.

In the semifinals, Laurel lost late to Bentworth, 2-1, while Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was blanked by Neshannock, 5-0.

The winner will challenge the District 9 champion in the PIAA first round, either Cranberry or Curwensville.

WPIAL Class A softball consolation game

Carmichaels (15-2) vs. West Greene (13-8)

3:30 p.m. Tuesday, at Jefferson-Morgan

This battle of Section 2 rivals will determine the third and the fourth seeds in the PIAA Class A playoffs.

Carmichaels was the No. 2 seed after finishing as co-champ in Section 2-A, while West Greene finished in third place and drew the No. 5 seed.

In the regular season, Carmichaels swept the two games from West Greene, 7-3 and 2-0.

Following a first-round bye, the Mighty Mikes shut out South Side in the quarterfinals, 7-0. Bailey Barnyak allowed one hit and struck out 14 while Carys McConnell was a perfect 4 for 4 with an RBI.

The Pioneers rolled past Leechburg in the first round, 11-1, thanks to Emmaline Beazell’s three RBIs. In the quarterfinals, West Greene handed Frazier its only loss of the season, 13-5.

In the semifinals, Carmichaels lost the rubber game of their season series with Chartiers-Houston, 3-2, while West Greene was blanked by defending champion Union, 10-0.

The winner of this battle of Greene County will face District 10 champion Cambridge Springs. The loser is the fourth seed out of the WPIAL and will face the District 6 winner, either West Branch or Claysburg-Kimmel.

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