WPIAL Class 5A baseball final preview: Shaler vs. Laurel Highlands
By: Bill Hartlep
Monday, May 27, 2019 | 7:46 PM
WPIAL Class 5A baseball championship
No. 5 Shaler (14-7) vs. No. 6 Laurel Highlands (14-6)
2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wild Things Park
Coaches: Brian Junker, Shaler; Scott DeBerry, Laurel Highlands
Players to watch: Hunter Boyan, Jr., P/C, Shaler; Justin Brestensky, Jr., OF, Laurel Highlands
WPIAL titles: Shaler 4 (1964, ‘80, ‘81, ‘99); Laurel Highlands 0
How they got here: Shaler defeated No. 12 Trinity, 3-2; No. 4 Gateway, 2-1; and No. 8 Mars, 8-2. Laurel Highlands beat No. 11 Kiski Area, 3-1; No. 3 Hampton, 8-5; and No. 2 Franklin Regional, 4-1.
Extra bases: Shaler has played in five title games, winning four. The Titans lost to North Allegheny in their most recent trip in 2003. Dayton recruit Nick Rispoli (6-1, 4.13 ERA) threw a complete game in the semifinals against Mars. Will Jamison and Colton Schott each had two RBIs. Boyan leads the Titans with a .415 average. He also is 4-2 with a 1.83 ERA. Collin Harger is hitting .340 with 13 RBIs. … Laurel Highlands, which reached the quarterfinals in two of the past three seasons, is playing in the title game for the first time. Brestensky is batting .405, and Santino Marra is hitting .388. Nate Zimcosky has a team-high 16 RBIs. Andino Vecchiolla (6-1, 1.91 ERA) leads the pitching staff. The Section 3 runner-up Mustangs had a four-game winning streak midseason, but dropped four of the final six games in the regular season.
PIAA tournament: The winner will play the District 3 fourth-place team in the PIAA first round. The losing team will play the District 3 champion. Both games will be June 3.
Bill Hartlep is a Tribune-Review Assistant Sports Editor. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .