WPIAL baseball championships get underway in Tuesday’s 3 things to watch in high school sports

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 | 8:12 AM

Let the diamond gold rush begin.

The first three of 12 WPIAL baseball and softball championship games over the next three days begins Tuesday at Wild Things Park in Washington with the Class A, 2A and 4A baseball title games.

Two schools that played for WPIAL gold in boys basketball clash for the Class A championship as Union faces Vincentian Academy at 2:30 p.m. The Section 1-A foes split in the regular season with each winning one-run games. Union won 9-8 in mid-April while Vincentian squeaked out a 4-3 decision two weeks later. Neither team has won a WPIAL baseball championship.

In the Class 2A finals, the top two seeds clash as No. 2 Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic squares off against No. 1 Serra Catholic. Serra edged CWNC, 3-2, in a district quarterfinals game last year. Both programs are playing for their fourth baseball title, with the Eagles winning in 2009, 2010 and 2016. The Trojans were district champs in 1995, 2005 and 2007.

The Class 4A championship pits third-seed South Fayette against fourth-seed Ringgold. The Rams hadn't made the playoffs in 12 years before making the 2017 postseason. A year later, they are on the brink of the school's first baseball crown. The Lions hope to steal a page from the late Prince's playbook and “Party like it's 1999,” which happens to be the year South Fayette won its only baseball crown.

Watch all three baseball championship games on the TribLive High School Sports Network .

Second chance

Ten district softball and four WPIAL baseball teams get a second chance to continue their seasons Tuesday, playing in consolation games. Simple rule of thumb, win and you earn a spot in the upcoming PIAA playoffs; lose and your season officially ends.

Defending PIAA Class 4A softball champion Mt. Pleasant looks to take a familiar route to the state playoffs this year as it faces Yough. In 2017, the Vikings lost to Belle Vernon, 1-0, in the WPIAL semifinals, then won the consolation and four state playoff games to win PIAA gold. Last week, they again lost to the Leopards, 1-0, in the district semifinals and now they hope the trend from a year ago continues. That loss to BVA snapped the Vikings' 21-game winning streak.

The other four softball consolation games are:

6A — Baldwin vs. Norwin

5A — Albert Gallatin vs. Connellsville

3A — Freeport vs. Avonworth

A — Leechburg vs. Union

There are two baseball consolation games Tuesday, both at Ross Memorial Field at the Washington & Jefferson College sports complex in Washington.

The Class A consolation game is a rematch of the 2017 championship game as old rivals Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic meet for a state playoff berth. Both picked up convincing wins against each other during the regular season as the Jayhawks won 15-7 while the Centurions won two weeks later 9-2.

South Side faces Riverside in the Class 3A consolation game preceding Jeanette-GCC.

All seven baseball and softball consolation games can be heard on the TribLive High School Sports Network .

State playoff openers

No WPIAL team has ever won a boys or girls PIAA lacrosse championship. In fact, a district team hasn't ever played in a state title match.

Ten district teams hope to change that starting Tuesday with the first round of the PIAA lacrosse playoffs.

The matches are:

Boys AAA — Peters Township vs. Cumberland Valley

Boys AAA — North Allegheny vs. Penn Manor

Boys AAA — Pine-Richland vs. State College

Boys AA — Mars vs. Erie Cathedral Prep

Boys AA — Hampton vs. Palmyra

Girls AAA — Pine-Richland vs. West Lawn Wilson

Girls AAA — Sewickley Academy vs. State College

Girls AA — Hampton vs. Kennard-Dale

Girls AA — Quaker Valley vs. Fairview

Girls AA — Franklin Regional vs. Hershey

The PIAA boys' volleyball playoffs also begin Tuesday with these first round matches:

AAA — North Allegheny vs. Warwick (heard on Trib HSSN)

AAA — Bethel Park vs. Cumberland Valley

AAA — Butler vs. Altoona

AA — Ambridge vs. Cochranton

AA — Derry vs. Bishop Guilfoyle

AA — Montour vs. Cambridge Springs

Don Rebel is a TribLIVE High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at drebel@tribweb.com.

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