WPIAL Class 3A baseball final preview: Steel Valley vs. Hopewell

Monday, May 27, 2019 | 7:50 PM

WPIAL Class 3A baseball championship

No. 4 Steel Valley (12-8) vs. No. 2 Hopewell (15-5)

7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wild Things Park

Coaches: Pat Loughran, Steel Valley; Mike Shuleski, Hopewell

Players to watch: Mason Haley, Sr., P, Steel Valley; Jake McGovern, Jr., P, Hopewell

WPIAL titles: Steel Valley 1 (2014); Hopewell 3 (1979, 2000, ‘10)

How they got here: Steel Valley had a first-round bye; defeated No. 12 Beth-Center, 8-0, in the quarterfinals; and defeated No. 1 Freeport, 5-3, in the semifinals. Hopewell had a first-round bye; beat No. 7 Burrell, 3-1, in the quarterfinals; and beat No. 3 Keystone Oaks, 6-1, in the semifinals.

Extra bases: Steel Valley tied for second in Section 1 with a 9-3 record. The Ironmen, who lost in the quarterfinals the past two seasons, won the 2014 WPIAL Class AA title. Haley retired 18 of the final 20 batters he faced against Freeport. Joe Kraft hit a solo home run, and Terevon Harris had a two-run single. … Hopewell reached the Class 4A semifinals a year ago and dropped to Class 3A this season after PIAA realignment. The Section 2 champion Vikings have won three WPIAL titles and were runners-up to South Park in 2013, their most recent trip. The Vikings, who won their first six games against WPIAL teams, have won seven of their past nine. In addition to McGovern (.407, 26 RBIs), senior Tyler Beck (.386) and junior Enzo Palumbo (.368) are hitting above .350. McGovern also is 7-1 on the mound with a 1.34 ERA and 32 strikeouts.

PIAA tournament: The winner will play the District 6 runner-up in the PIAA first round. The losing team will play the District 5 or 9 champion. Both games will be June 3.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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