WPIAL baseball pairings: Central Catholic, Moon among No. 1 seeds

Friday, May 11, 2018 | 1:00 PM

Teams that played in the rain were rewarded by the WPIAL baseball committee.

When the committee seeded the playoff brackets Friday, it used all the usual criteria to arrange them, including overall records, section strength and head-to-head matchups. But with so much rain and snow this spring causing countless rainouts, the committee also gave an extra edge to teams that played tough nonsection schedules, said North Allegheny athletic director Bob Bozzuto, the committee chairman.

Central Catholic, Moon, Blackhawk, Riverside, Serra Catholic and Vincentian Academy received No. 1 seeds when the WPIAL revealed the brackets.

“We rewarded some teams that played their (nonsection) games and played competition,” Bozzuto said, “even if they lost.”

For example, among the reasons the committee awarded Moon (13-4) the top seed in Class 5A over West Allegheny (12-1) was that West A had played only one nonsection game all season, Bozzuto said. The committee also noted that the Section 2 co-champions split their section matchups, but Moon won the most-recent head-to-head game.

Teams from the same section were seeded first and second in three classifications. In Class A, section rivals Vincentian Academy and Union received the top two seeds. In Class 2A, section foes Riverside, Avonworth and South Side claimed the top three seeds.

Section strength was a factor in Class 6A when the committee seeded Central Catholic first and Bethel Park second. Teams currently in Central Catholic's section have won the WPIAL's largest classification in eight of the past nine seasons.

However, Bozzuto noted that there really isn't much difference in strength between the left and right half of the 6A bracket.

“There's a lot of parity,” Bozzuto said. “I think there are a lot of teams that kind of mirror each other.”

And they'll all need more than one starting pitcher to win a title.

The committee, concerned that first-round byes are too advantageous, again arranged the schedule to minimize them. First-round games are Tuesday and Wednesday. The quarterfinals and semifinals are consecutive days the following week: May 21-22.

As a result, every team can throw its top pitcher in the quarterfinals but will need someone else for the semis.

The championships are May 29-30 at Wild Things Park in Washington.

“Our committee does not want teams to be able to pitch one kid all the way through the brackets,” Bozzuto said.

Ideally, the first three rounds would be played in the same week, Bozzuto said, a possibility for next season.

WPIAL brackets

Class 6A

Class 5A

Class 4A

Class 3A

Class 2A

Class A

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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