What to watch for in WPIAL sports on May 5, 2023: Long-awaited 6A baseball clashes on schedule

Thursday, May 4, 2023 | 11:52 PM

It has been tough to get on the field this week, but Friday actually has the sun returning to our lives.

If district diamonds are dried out, there are plenty of rescheduled games around the district as time is running out on the regular season.

The much-anticipated clash in Section 1-6A between the top four playoff bound teams highlights the district baseball schedule.

First place North Allegheny visits Pine-Richland while Seneca Valley is home to Butler.

The Tigers are 7-2, one game ahead of the Rams (6-3) and Golden Tornado (6-4) while the once unbeaten Raiders check in at 6-4.

Both series will conclude Saturday.

Other key games

There are plenty of key WPIAL baseball games slated for Friday, including these half-dozen showdowns.

• In Section 1-5A, Franklin Regional hosts Plum (on Trib HSSN) while Fox Chapel visits Armstrong. The section is logjammed at the top with the Mustangs and Foxes tied for first place at 7-2, the Panthers a game back at 6-3 and the River Hawks 6-5 in the section.

• In Section 2-4A, there is a tie for third place between Laurel Highlands and Ringgold with Belle Vernon a half-game behind them. The Leopards host first-place Latrobe while the Mustangs visit second place Uniontown.

• The top spot in Section 4-4A is up for grabs as North Catholic hosts Kiski Area. Both teams are tied for first place with 6-2 section records.

• In Section 2-A, Union, Leechburg and Rochester have all clinched. The fight for fourth place has Springdale and Western Beaver tied for fourth, a half-game ahead of St. Joseph. The Dynamos host the Golden Beavers on Friday.

Let’s play two

To celebrate the return of the sun, four district softball teams will square off in doubleheaders Friday.

Both have second place ramifications in their sections.

• In Section 2-4A, Belle Vernon will host Uniontown in a doubleheader. The Leopards are 7-2 in the section while the Red Raiders are 5-3. Both teams are looking up at undefeated Elizabeth Forward.

• In Section 1-A, South Side will host Northgate in a twin bill. The Rams are 6-2, a half-game behind the Flames at 7-2. Both are two back in the loss column behind first-place Union.

• They won’t play two, but another key district softball game Friday has South Park at Seton LaSalle. The Eagles (4-3) have a half-game lead over the Rebels (4-4) in the battle for second place in Section 4-3A.

First round finally concludes

It’s taken a week, but the first round of the 2023 WPIAL boys team tennis playoffs will finally wrap up.

In Class 3A, there are five opening-round contests scheduled:

• No. 9 Allderdice at No. 8 Franklin Regional at 3:30 p.m.

• No. 12 Norwin at No. 5 Shady Side Academy at 3:30 p.m.

• No. 13 Mars at No. 4 Upper St. Clair at 3:30 p.m.

• No. 14 Bethel Park at No. 3 Gateway at 3:30 p.m.

• No. 11 Moon at No. 6 Peters Township at 5:30 p.m.

No. 1 North Allegheny, No 2 Fox Chapel and No. 7 Mt. Lebanon have already qualified for the quarterfinals on Monday.

The Class 2A quarterfinals are almost set for Monday with Hampton at Sewickley Academy, North Catholic at Valley, Winchester Thurston at South Park and Chartiers Valley awaiting the winner of Friday’s match between No. 15 Burrell at No. 2 Quaker Valley at 1 p.m.

More Baseball

Norwin grads climbing college baseball ladder via transfer portal
Bethel Park’s Ryan Petras wraps up highly decorated junior year
Hempfield grad, Pitt pitcher Phil Fox drafted by White Sox in 7th round
Mt. Lebanon’s David Shields picked by Royals in 2nd round of MLB Draft
Franklin Regional designated hitter emerges as all-state performer