What to watch for in WPIAL sports on May 17, 2023: 1st-round baseball games ready to go

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 | 11:30 PM

Whether your spring sports love is baseball, softball, lacrosse or track and field, there is a little bit of everything going on Wednesday around the WPIAL.

The first round of the 2023 WPIAL baseball playoffs kicks off in Class 5A and 4A.

In 5A last year, West Allegheny and Peters Township met in the finals. This season, they collide in the opening round.

After two lightning delays, West Allegheny overcame a blown three-run lead to knock off Peters Township in last year’s WPIAL title game, 5-4, in eight innings.

Anthony Raineri’s RBI single scored Brady Miller with the golden run in the eighth to give West A its fifth district crown.

The rematch takes place at Ross Memorial Park at Washington & Jefferson at 6:30 p.m on Trib HSSN.

The winner of West Allegheny (14-6) against Peters Township (13-6) advances to the quarterfinals to face No. 3 Penn-Trafford.

In the other four opening-round 5A games:

• No. 9 Mars (9-9) squares off with No. 8 Fox Chapel (12-8) at Plum at 6:30 p.m. (HSSN). The winner moves on to play top seed Shaler in the quarterfinals.

Trinity (6-9) plays Section 1 co-champ Plum (12-7) at Gateway at 6:30 p.m. (HSSN) while Armstrong (14-6) faces South Fayette (15-4) at North Allegheny at 4 p.m. (HSSN). The winners meet in the district quarterfinals.

• Last year’s 6A runner-up, Upper St. Clair (9-11) goes up against North Hills (13-6) at Matulevic Field in Shaler at 3 p.m.

Champs begin defense

The full field of 16 teams in WPIAL Class 4A baseball has two champions from a year ago.

No. 3 West Mifflin (15-2) is the WPIAL defending champion while top seed Montour (17-3) is the reigning PIAA Class 4A winner.

Both are in action Wednesday.

The Titans take on Hopewell (8-11) at the Boyce-Mayview Complex in Upper St. Clair at 4 p.m. on Trib HSSN.

The Spartans will play Uniontown (7-8) at Ross Memorial Field at Washington & Jefferson at 4 p.m.

Here are the other six 4A openers:

Hampton (8-9) plays Ringgold (8-12) at Gateway at 4 p.m. in the 8 vs. 9 game. (HSSN)

• It’s CV vs. CV when Central Valley (6-11) battles Chartiers Valley (13-6) at Boyce-Mayview in USC at 6:30 p.m. (HSSN)

• Former 5A section foes Kiski Area (9-9) and Latrobe (14-6) meet at Norwin at 4 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson (8-11) takes on No. 2 Blackhawk (14-2) at North Allegheny at 7 p.m. (HSSN)

• Two section runners-up collide when Laurel Highlands (9-9) battles Indiana (13-7) at Latrobe at 6:30 p.m. (HSSN)

Elizabeth Forward (7-11) challenge Section 4 champ North Catholic (9-10) at Plum at 4 p.m. (HSSN)

6A softball finally begins

The last softball bracket to begin is the six-team 6A postseason.

While top seed Seneca Valley and No. 2 Hempfield must continue to wait after quarterfinal byes, four others hit the diamond Wednesday.

No. 5 Pine-Richland (6-14) plays No. 4 North Allegheny (14-6) at Seneca Valley at 4 p.m. on Trib HSSN while No. 6 Canon-McMillan (7-11) goes up against No. 3 Norwin (14-5) at Gateway at 5 p.m.

The Tigers beat the Rams twice in the regular season by a combined score of 18-11 and the Knights swept two games from the Big Macs by a combined score of 29-10.

5A getting offensive

Half of the eight first-round winners in Class 5A softball Monday scored double digit runs.

West Allegheny led the way with 18 runs, followed by 12 runs for Latrobe and 10 runs each for Armstrong and Franklin Regional.

Trinity scored the least runs in winning its opener, beating Penn-Trafford, 3-2.

Here are the four quarterfinals Wednesday in 5A:

• No. 8 Thomas Jefferson (14-5) takes on top seed and defending champion Armstrong (17-1) at North Allegheny at 3 p.m.

• The lone upset winner in Round 1, No. 12 South Fayette (11-9), will play a West Allegheny (19-1) that beat them twice this season. The game is at Boyce-Mayview in Upper St. Clair at 3 p.m.

• No. 7 Franklin Regional (12-6) will challenge No. 2 and unbeaten Shaler (17-0) at Gateway at 3 p.m.

• No. 6 Latrobe (15-3) battles No. 3 Trinity (16-2) at West Mifflin at 5 p.m.

Bye byes

Four Class 4A softball teams enjoyed first-round byes. Now they have to start earning their keep as they hit the field for the first time this postseason against four teams coming off playoff wins Monday.

• Top seed and undefeated Elizabeth Forward (16-0) will play Hampton (13-5) at West Mifflin at 3 p.m.

• No. 4 Belle Vernon (15-4) faces a familiar foe in its playoff opener, former section rival West Mifflin, (13-5) at Boyce-Mayview in USC at 5 p.m.

• No. 2 Montour (13-3) goes up against Indiana (16-4) as west meets east at Gateway at 7 p.m.

• No. 3 Chartiers Valley (16-2) faces Knoch (11-8) in a battle of section co-champs at North Allegheny at 5 p.m.

3A girls lax quarters

Girls lacrosse Class 3A top seed Pine-Richland won its section with a perfect 9-0 record. North Allegheny finished five games behind in a tie for fifth place.

All of that means nothings as the Rams and Tigers meet for a spot in the district final four Wednesday at Pine-Richland at 7 p.m. on Trib HSSN.

The other three 3A quarterfinals are:

• Three-time defending champion Shady Side Academy visits No. 4 Upper St. Clair at 7 p.m.

• No. 7 North Hills visits five-time champion Mt. Lebanon at 7 p.m.

• No. 6 Canon-McMillan challenges No. 3 Fox Chapel at 6 p.m.

Out-of-this-world quarterfinals

Mars has been by far, the most dominant boys lacrosse program in district history.

The Fightin’ Planets have won the last six WPIAL 2A crowns starting in 2016.

Lucky seven is three wins away starting with Wednesday’s home quarterfinal against Moon.

The other three 2A second-round matches are:

• No. 12 North Catholic is at No. 4 Hampton at 7 p.m.

• No. 7 Quaker Valley visits No. 2 South Fayette at 7 p.m.

• No 6 Shaler travels to No. 3 Penn-Trafford at 7 p.m.

WPIAL track championships

Some of the best athletes in the district head north Wednesday to run, throw and jump for gold.

The 2023 WPIAL individual track and field championships will take place at Slippery Rock University.

Trib HSSN’s own Chris Harlan will be on hand to document the big winners.

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