WPIAL releases brackets for 2023 baseball playoffs

Friday, May 12, 2023 | 3:45 PM

Who’s No. 1?

Pine-Richland, Shaler, Montour, Riverside, Serra Catholic and Union will start the WPIAL baseball playoffs as favorites after receiving No. 1 seeds Friday when the brackets were revealed on TribLive HSSN. The next couple of weeks will decide if those six teams finish on top.

The WPIAL playoffs start with preliminary-round games Tuesday. First-round games are Wednesday and Thursday. The tournaments finish May 30-31 with six championship games at Wild Things Park in Washington.

As always, some brackets were harder to seed than others, said WPIAL baseball committee member Bill Cherpak, athletic director at Thomas Jefferson.

The toughest this year was Class 5A.

Once Shaler (16-4) was seeded first and Bethel Park (15-4) second, the real debate started. Complicating matters was that Penn-Trafford (13-5) and Plum (12-7) were co-champions in Section 1. The committee had to decide if both should be ahead of South Fayette (15-4), a talented second-place team from Section 2.

And what about Peters Township (13-6) and North Hills (13-6)?

“We definitely spent the most time on 5A,” Cherpak said on the TribLive HSSN Baseball Pairings Show. “There were different brackets we talked about. One had South Fayette as a three, and four and five being Penn-Trafford and Plum.

“But Plum played an incredibly difficult nonsection schedule, and Penn-Trafford played a good schedule as well.”

So the committee ultimately seeded Penn-Trafford third, Plum fourth, South Fayette fifth, Peters Township sixth and North Hills seventh.

“At the end of the day, both Penn-Trafford and Plum did what they could and won their section,” Cherpak said.

Their strong nonsection schedules also helped their cause.

When working through the brackets, the committee favored teams that played a nearly full schedule and voluntarily took on quality opponents, Cherpak said. For example, Plum’s schedule included Class 6A contenders Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley and North Allegheny.

“You’ll see some of these teams played really tough (nonsection) schedules, and whether they won or not really was irrelevant,” Cherpak said. “Some other teams don’t challenge themselves at all, or don’t even play 18, 19 or 20 games.”

In Class 6A, Pine-Richland, North Allegheny and Seneca Valley finished in a three-way tie atop the Section 1 standings. However, Pine-Richland won two out of three games over both rivals, so the Rams received the No. 1 seed.

Serra Catholic in Class 2A and Union in A are both defending WPIAL champions.

Class 6A


May 22 schedule

Pine-Richland (14-6) vs. Hempfield (11-9); Seneca Valley (16-4) vs. Mt. Lebanon (10-10); North Allegheny (14-6) vs. Norwin (8-11); Canon-McMillan (15-5) vs. Butler (12-8)

Class 5A

First round

Wednesday’s schedule

Shaler (16-4) bye; Fox Chapel (12-8) vs. Mars (9-9) at Plum, 6:30 p.m.; Plum (12-7) vs. Trinity (6-9) at Gateway, 6:30 p.m.; South Fayette (15-4) vs. Armstrong (14-6) at North Allegheny, 4 p.m.; Bethel Park (15-4) bye; North Hills (13-6) vs. Upper St. Clair (9-11) at Shaler, 4 p.m.; Penn-Trafford (13-5) bye; Peters Township (13-6) vs. West Allegheny (14-6) at Ross Memorial Park, Washington & Jefferson, 6:30 p.m.

Class 4A

First round

Wednesday’s schedule

Montour (17-3) vs. Uniontown (7-8) at Ross Memorial Park, Washington & Jefferson, 4 p.m.; Ringgold (8-12) vs. Hampton (8-9) at Gateway, 4 p.m.; Chartiers Valley (13-6) vs. Central Valley (6-11) at Boyce Mayview Park, 6:30 p.m.; Latrobe (14-6) vs. Kiski Area (9-9) at Norwin, 4 p.m.; Blackhawk (14-2) vs. Thomas Jefferson (8-11) at North Allegheny, 7 p.m.; Indiana (13-7) vs. Laurel Highlands (9-9) at Latrobe, 6:30 p.m.; West Mifflin (15-2) vs. Hopewell (8-11) at Boyce Mayview Park, 4 p.m.; North Catholic (9-10) vs. Elizabeth Forward (7-11) at Plum, 4 p.m.

Class 3A

Preliminary round

Tuesday’s schedule

Valley (10-10) vs. Burrell (7-9) at Latrobe, 4:30 p.m.; Mt. Pleasant (9-9) vs. Derry (7-10) at Latrobe, 7 p.m.

First round

Thursday’s schedule

Riverside (17-0) vs. Valley/Burrell winner at Seneca Valley, 6:30 p.m.; Freeport (14-5) vs. South Allegheny (12-7) at Plum, 6:30 p.m.; East Allegheny (12-5) vs. Waynesburg (9-6) at Boyce Mayview Park, 4 p.m.; Greensburg Salem (13-5) vs. Mohawk (12-7) at Shaler, 4:30 p.m.; Avonworth (15-5) vs. Mt. Pleasant/Derry at Plum, 4 p.m.; South Park (14-5) vs. Shenango (8-8) at Shaler, 2 p.m.; Yough (15-5) vs. Keystone Oaks (4-13) at Norwin, 4 p.m.; Neshannock (15-4) vs. Shady Side Academy (8-8) at Seneca Valley, 4 p.m.

Class 2A

First round

Thursday’s schedule

Serra Catholic (17-2) bye; Greensburg Central Catholic (9-5) vs. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (12-8) at Boyce Mayview Park, 6:30 p.m.; Burgettstown (13-3) bye; South Side (14-4) vs. Bentworth (9-9) at Burgettstown, 4 p.m.; Seton LaSalle (14-4) bye; Charleroi (12-4) vs. Riverview (9-7) at Gateway, 4 p.m.; New Brighton (14-4) bye; Chartiers-Houston (16-3) vs. Ligonier Valley (11-7) at Gateway, 6:30 p.m.

Class A

First round

Thursday’s schedule

Union (12-4) bye; Fort Cherry (11-8) vs. Sewickley Academy (9-7) at Peterswood Park, 4 p.m.; California (12-7) bye; Carmichaels (14-3) vs. Cornell (6-10) at Peterswood Park, 6:30 p.m.; Eden Christian (12-4) bye; Rochester (8-7) vs. Avella (10-6) at Burkett Park, 6:30 p.m.; Leechburg (13-4) bye; Bishop Canevin (11-3) vs. Western Beaver (5-10) at Burkett Park, 4 p.m.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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