What to watch for in WPIAL sports on April 18, 2023: Serra Catholic coach looks to add to win total

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Monday, April 17, 2023 | 11:49 PM


The winningest baseball coach in WPIAL history is Dan Oliastro with 679 victories.

The 79-year old, now in his 54th season at Riverside, has the Panthers at 8-0 this season and in first place in Section 1-3A.

The next man on the active WPIAL baseball coach’s victory list picked up a milestone win Monday.

Serra Catholic coach Brian Dzurenda collected victory No. 400 in an 8-2 win at Ligonier Valley.

In his 23 years of coaching his alma mater, Dzurenda has led Serra to five WPIAL championships and a PIAA state crown back in 2011.

Win No. 401 could come Tuesday afternoon when the Eagles host the Rams in Section 3-2A.

This season, Serra Catholic has won nine of its 11 games and is 4-1 in the section.

The Rams are 5-2 in the section and 7-3 overall.

Serra Catholic is tied for the top spot in the section with Riverview (5-1) and Greensburg Central Catholic (3-1).

Other showdowns

While most of the WPIAL baseball games scheduled for Monday were postponed due to rain and/or cold weather, there were some games, setting up middle games or section series finales Tuesday.

In Class 6A, Pine-Richland won the series opener against Seneca Valley with the second of three games set for Seneca Valley on Tuesday.

Hempfield and Mt. Lebanon won their section openers as well. The Spartans host Canon-McMillan while the Blue Devils travel to Norwin on Tuesday.

These teams are looking to complete a sweep of their two-game series at home Tuesday:

Fox Chapel is home to Franklin Regional in Section 1-5A.

• Beaver hosts Central Valley in Section 1-4A.

Elizabeth Forward welcomes Thomas Jefferson while West Mifflin is home to Woodland Hills in Section 3-4A.

Leechburg hosts St. Joseph and Rochester is home to Springdale in Section 2-A.

Bishop Canevin is home to Cornell in Section 3-A.

These teams are looking to win both games of their two-game series on the road Tuesday:

Penn Hills is at Plum in Section 1-5A.

South Fayette visits Connellsville in Section 2-5A.

Montour travels to Hopewell in Section 1-4A.

Latrobe is at Albert Gallatin in Section 2-4A.

Indiana visits Hampton while North Catholic travels to Knoch in in Section 4-4A.

Neshannock is at Beaver Falls in Section 1-3A.

Mt. Pleasant visits Brownsville in Section 4-3A.

Chartiers-Houston is at Bentworth and Burgettstown visits Beth-Center in Section 1-2A.

Freedom travels to Aliquippa in Section 2-2A.

Eden Christian visits Sewickley Academy in Section 3-A.

Midway volleys

The WPIAL boys volleyball season hits the midway point in section play Tuesday.

While there are no head-to-head battles for first place, the schedule does have three intriguing matchups with at least sole possession of second place up for grabs.

In Section 1-3A, Upper St. Clair visits Moon. Both the Panthers and Tigers are 3-1 in the section, one game behind front-running Canon-McMillan.

In Section 2-2A, Latrobe is on top with a 3-0 section record, followed by three schools with one section loss in Mars (3-1), Gateway (2-1) and Derry (1-1).

The Fightin’ Planets visit the Gators on Tuesday.

In Section 3-2A, Thomas Jefferson is at South Fayette. The Jaguars and Lions are each 4-1 in the section, one game behind first-place Seton LaSalle at 5-0.

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