What to watch for in WPIAL sports for May 8, 2023: Section baseball races hit final stretch

Sunday, May 7, 2023 | 9:54 PM

As we enter the final week of the regular season in WPIAL baseball, most playoff spots have been filled.

However, there are still berths to be had in the final few days.

While only one playoff berth is still to be determined in Section 1-5A, the top four teams are set to square off starting Monday.

Penn-Trafford visits Franklin Regional, and first-place Plum travels to Fox Chapel.

The Mustangs have won eight straight and are alone in first place at 8-2, one game ahead of both the Foxes and Warriors at 7-3. The Panthers are 6-4.

Franklin Regional needs one win over Penn-Trafford to clinch a playoff berth.

Plum can clinch at least a share of the section championship with one win over Fox Chapel.

Both games can be seen on Trib HSSN starting at 4 p.m.

Coming down to the wire

Some other key district baseball games set for Monday:

• In Section 1-6A, North Allegheny (7-4) hosts Pine-Richland (8-3). If the Rams win and sweep the series, they will be section champions outright and likely the top seed in the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs. If the Tigers win, there will be tri-champions with Pine-Richland, North Allegheny and Seneca Valley (8-4).

• Section 2-5A, South Fayette (6-3) is hosting Upper St. Clair (3-6) in a battle of playoff-bound teams. A Lions home win gives Trinity (3-7) a playoff spot.

• In Section 1-4A, Beaver (2-6) needs to sweep playoff-bound Blackhawk (7-1) to qualify for the postseason. Monday, the Bobcats host the Cougars.

• In Section 4-4A, Hampton (4-4) visits Knoch (2-6), where the math for the final playoff qualifier is easy. If the Talbots win one game, they are in. The Knights need to sweep Hampton to clinch a berth.

• In Section 1-3A, the district’s only undefeated team will be challenged as Riverside (10-0) opens a section series at Mohawk (7-2). The Panthers can clinch the section crown outright with one victory over the Warriors.

• In Class 3A, Freeport (8-2) visits East Allegheny (9-1) in Section 3 with the Yellowjackets trailing the Wildcats for first place by one game. In Section 4, Greensburg Salem (8-2) is home against Yough (10-0) as the Golden Lions are two games behind the Cougars for the top spot in the section.

• The top four teams in Section 2-2A collide as New Brighton (9-3) travels to South Side (10-1), and Seton LaSalle (9-2) visits Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (10-2).

• In Section 3-2A, Serra Catholic (8-1) and Riverview (8-1) are tied for first place, one game ahead of Greensburg Central Catholic (7-2) . The Raiders visit the Centurions while the Eagles are at Brentwood (2-7).

• In Section 1-A, Fort Cherry (5-4) can clinch with a win at home against Jefferson-Morgan (4-6).

Two for two

The North Allegheny softball team is tied for third place in the lone 6A section with a 9-3 record. It has four section games left, so it begins the final week with a doubleheader against two teams fighting for their playoff lives.

In the afternoon game at 3:30 p.m., the Tigers will host Mt. Lebanon. At 7:30 p.m., NA welcomes Pine-Richland. It will be the second game for the Rams as well as they host Canon-McMillan in the afternoon.

While North Allegheny is trying to keep its slim section title hopes alive, both the Blue Devils and Rams are tied for fifth place with 5-9 section records, a half-game in front of Canon-McMillan (4-9).

The top six teams qualify for the 6A playoffs.

Team tennis quarterfinals

It took an entire soggy week to complete the first round of the 2023 WPIAL boys team tennis playoffs. Now it’s on to Round 2.

Class 3A quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m.

No. 8 Franklin Regional at No. 1 North Allegheny

No. 5 Shady Side Academy at No. 4 Upper St. Clair

No. 6 Peters Township at No. 3 Gateway

No. 7 Mt. Lebanon at No. 2 Fox Chapel

Class 2A quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m.

No. 8 Hampton at No. 1 Sewickley Academy

No. 5 North Catholic at No. 4 Valley

No. 6 Winchester Thurston at No. 3 South Park

No. 7 Chartiers Valley at No. 2 Quaker Valley

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