What to watch for in WPIAL sports on April 25, 2024: Surging Mt. Lebanon looks to sweep

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | 11:38 PM


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

The Mt. Lebanon baseball teams starts slow, then hits its stride and runs amok in Class 6A.

In 2022, the Blue Devils started the season 1-4 and ended up defeating rival Upper St. Clair to win the WPIAL crown.

A year ago, they became the poster children for resurrecting a season following a slow start when they began the defense of their district title with a 0-8 record.

However, they found their game, finished strong and repeated as champions.

Now in fairness, they did not begin this season horribly. They split their first two contests and were 4-2 after six games.

Following an April 9 loss to Central Catholic, the Blue Devils were 3-2 in Section 2-6A and 6-3 overall.

Since then, though, the two-time defending champions have kicked their game into overdrive with six consecutive section wins to take over sole possession of first place from Hempfield.

Mt. Lebanon (9-2, 12-3) hopes to complete its second straight sweep Thursday when it hosts Hempfield (8-3, 12-3).

The Blue Devils beat the Spartans on Monday, 8-6, to forge a tie for first place, and then took over the top spot Tuesday with a 9-4 road victory at Hempfield.

With David Shields expected to start for the Blue Devils, a win would give them a two-game lead over the Spartans with three section games remaining in the chase for the section crown.

You can watch the game Thursday afternoon on Trib HSSN.

Sweep-a-mania

Four other WPIAL Class 6A baseball section series will conclude Thursday with three teams beyond Mt. Lebanon looking for a three-game sweep.

In Section 1-6A, Butler hopes to win a third straight game this week and keep Allderdice winless on the season when the Golden Tornado host the Dragons.

In Section 2-6A, Mt. Lebanon isn’t the only team looking to bring out the brooms as Canon-McMillan is hosting Baldwin with the Big Macs looking for a series sweep of the Highlanders, and Norwin is home to Central Catholic as the Knights try to win a third straight game against the Vikings in the battle for fourth place.

The only 6A series this week that is even heading into the third game is North Allegheny and Seneca Valley.

The Tigers host the Raiders in a game you can listen to on Trib HSSN at 7 p.m.

Fighting for positioning

Thursday is a busy evening on the courts with plenty of WPIAL boys volleyball section matches.

Two of them stand out between teams trying to stay on the positive side of the postseason bubble.

In Section 1-3A, Upper St. Clair hosts Baldwin.

The Panthers and Highlanders are currently tied for fourth place with 2-3 records. The top four teams in each section qualify for the playoffs. USC defeated Baldwin in their first meeting this season, 3-0.

In Section 2-2A, Derry visits Gateway.

The Trojans are tied for fourth place with Armstrong, each with 2-3 section records. They are a half-game behind the third place Gators at 3-3. Derry beat Gateway earlier this season, 3-0.

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