Playoff Rundown

Then there were 12…

The final games are set for each classification, and the first three rounds of this year’s WPIAL playoffs did not disappoint. Before we breakdown the championship matchups for you, we wanted to take a look back at everything that occurred leading up to this extraordinary moment.

 

1A

1A bracket

We thought there was a high probability that 1A would end up with the higher seeds making their way to the title game. In fact, there was only one seeding upset in the entire slate of games, and it came from defending champ, Jeannette, and their 5-3 extra inning victory over Quigley. The Jayhawks, and their new opponent G.C.C., battled their way to the final four. But, once they got there, the top two seeds were just too much to handle. Vincentian and Union seemed as if they were destined to meet once again, but for all of the marbles this time.

 

2A

2A bracket

It seems like all year long this conference has been about Serra Catholic. They have been utterly dominant, but there are multiple story lines outside of the Eagles incredible season that need to be highlighted. We thought Shenango had the chance to be a major sleeper team in this scenario, and they answered that call stealing two wins away from Canevin and Carmichaels. Brentwood shocked many with an 8-2 rout over 6 seeded Char Houston. We knew the top three seeds were all powerhouses and would have a really tough time getting knocked out. You will be able to see our breakdown of the Serra vs CWNC matchup shortly.

 

3A

3A bracket

We only had one prediction wrong in this entire set, and oh my was it a major one. #4 seed, Brownsville, was able to knock off the 3A top-dog – Riverside. The Side played at a different level all year long, and everyone thought they would run away with the WPIAL title, but the Falcons said no. Brownsville controlled the ball game from the start. The Panthers rallied and fought with everything they had, but in the end fell 6-5. The big story on the flip side of the bracket was not Avonworth’s domination to the final, but instead a very exciting first round matchup. Shady Side Academy was in a gritty contest against Waynesburg before Mother Nature intervened. The Umpires took over and ended the game two innings early. Waynesburg was threatening with an excellent opportunity to regain the lead and propel them into the next round. These drastic circumstances provoke the question as to whether or not the WPIAL should enforce the rule that all playoff games must complete the entire 7 inning slate. As stated in our bio, we are not directly affiliated with the WPIAL and have absolutely no say in the rulemaking process, but we think some positive adaptations can be created.

 

4A

4A bracket

4A was crazy! Greensburg Salem did not just prove us wrong once, but they pulled off the biggest upset the WPIAL has seen all season long. The 8 ran through South Park, and top seeded Blackhawk, en route to a final four appearance. Their two victories occurred in very different manners as well, one they swung the bats and plated 8, the other they scrounged together a single run in 9 innings. On the flip side, Hopewell had similar success. We expected them to win one on the back of ace Joe Rock, but after they were done with Belle Vernon they sent Knoch home as well. As a side note for this conference, two of our favorite teams, New Castle and West Mifflin fought their way through incredible seasons that we were sad to see end so soon. New Castle’s fan base created a media frenzy any time we did not fully support them, which made the Canes’ matchups ones we were very intrigued with. Ben Visnesky was an absolute workhorse all season long, and we are pumped to see what he can accomplish in the future.

 

5A

5A bracket

There was not a ton of deception in the future for these 13 teams. We knew Mars was capable of a huge run, we knew North Hills would be right there with them, but the outlier was Hampton as they shined throughout the process. The Talbots handled two very talented teams on their way to the semis. They defeated #9 Gateway 4-2, and #1 Moon 9-1. If it weren’t for Will Bednar being such a stud, they might be competing for gold this week. We were extremely intrigued with the offensive juggernaut battle between North Hills and West A in the Final Four. the game ended with 15 total runs, but the Indians of North Hills handled business plating 11 of them. In fact, 5A featured a ton of high scoring performances, with 8 teams putting up 6 or more runs during the contests.

 

6A

6A bracket

Ok, now I don’t think anyone could have seen this coming. We had Canon Mac, but North Allegheny?! Don’t get me wrong, NA is always a force to be reckoned with and the Tigers easily had the talent at the start of the season to pull something incredible like this off. But, being the 10 seed, losing 3 of the last 4 regular season games, matching up against a 17-4 Bethel Park Squad, and losing arguably the most talented player on their roster to suspension, the stars did not look like they were aligning for the Tigers. Our predicted winner of the entire thing lost 9-1 in the quarter finals. Pine Richland was not able to maintain their talent on paper, and had a very tough time getting all of the cogs to work as one in order to find success. #1 seed Central Catholic showed their dominance in a 6-0 victory over Butler. Marshall McGraw put together a masterful no-hit performance, and showcased why he is one of the WPIAL’s finest pitchers. Canon Mac handled business three times just like we thought they would, and proved that you do not want to see the Big Macs in May.

 

Make sure you subscribe to our blog on the left side of the screen in order to stay up to date on all WPIAL Baseball information. Follow us on social media, @wpial_baseball and check in with us later when we publish our breakdowns for all 6 of the championship games!

Round 2 Breakdown

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  • #1 vs #8. We are on board for both of these fan buses for different reasons. Vincentian has dominated their way to a 13-4 record, while Cornell has shocked many on their way to completing the regular season at 10-4. Cornell comes off of a 5-0 victory over West Greene, but I am afraid the run will be cut short on Monday. The Royals are too strong of a team, and the Raiders will have trouble keeping pace with them. I am taking Vincentian in a 7-2 victory.

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  • This will be a major game to watch in 1A. Both of these teams are extremely tough to beat, and will not go down without a fight. Monessen arrives at round 2 with a 11-6 record after defeating Western Beaver 2-0. We suspected that contest to be a very exciting one, and the Greyhounds did not leave us disappointed. Now, they will go up against the 12-3,  #2 overall seed, Union Scotties. This Union team is really strong, and we are predicting them to ride the road all the way to Consol. I’m taking Union in a 4-3 win over the Greyhounds.

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  • G-C-C, G-C-C, G-C-C, you will be hearing that chant often in this one because we think the Centurions should have no problem moving onto the final four. Don’t get me wrong, Eden is a very talented team. Their lineup can score it with the best of them, as they showcased their ability in a 12-4 win over Rochester last round. But, GCC is 12-5, battle tested, and fully capable of making a deep playoff run. Give me the Rice brothers at GCC – 6, Eden 3.

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  • So far with our 1A predictions, we have chosen the chalk to sweep the quarter finals. In this one, we are rolling with the underdog. The Jeannette Jayhawks are the defending WPIAL champs and enter this matchup after defeating Leechburg 2-0. Jeannette has a very deep and talented pitching staff that could carry them a long way. Quigley comes in having won 13 straight and their only loss was to #1 team in 2A (Serra Catholic). The Spartans have had an exceptional season, but we like the Jayhawks moving on to the Semis after winning this one 3-1.

2A

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  • Serra Catholic is 19-1. A ridiculous 19-1, where there only loss came against the 3A powerhouse that is the Avonworth Antelopes. The Eagles have an awesome pitching staff and a deep lineup that is headed by St. John’s commit Mark Black. Black is a pretty good ball player, I mean he only hit .629 this year, with 5 bombs, and led the WPIAL with 42 RBIs. I guess that’s ok… If you are getting the gist of this sarcasm, we are picking the Eagles to win this one. Final score, 7-1, Serra will play in the Semis.

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  • We predicted a Shenango upset in round 1 and they slipped past Canevin in a dramatic, extra inning fashion. Now, they will take on the Mighty Mikes of Carmichaels who are an impressive 11-5. Shenango has been very hot as of late, but we think that streak will end right here. We are taking the Mikes in a 5-4 victory and look forward to a potential showdown vs Serra Catholic in the Semis.

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  • Carlynton enters this match after a high flying performance against California in round 1. The Cougars put up an impressive 14 runs en route to the victory, and will need to reproduce those statistics if they want to knock out North Catholic. CWNC is 15-5, and if were not for Serra Catholic being so strong, they would easily be the team to beat in 2A. I expect them to move onto the final four and beat the Cougars 5-1.

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  • The 17-3 Lancers will take on the 2A underdog, Brentwood Spartans. The Spartans caught us sleeping last week when we picked them to go down against Chartiers Houston. Not only did they win to get to the Elite Eight, but they dismantled their opponent in an 8-2 fashion. I am sorry Spartan fans, but I am picking against you once again. Give me Neshannock here, 6-3. The Lancers are always a dominant conference force, and I think they find their way back into the final four.

 

3A

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  • I said it last week and I’ll say it again, you do not want to play Steel Valley this time of year. The Ironmen know how to win playoff games. Period. They destroyed Charleroi 15-0 in a measly 3 inning contest. This time, they go up against the powerhouse that is Riverside. The Panthers have been dominant all season long and are our pick to take home the gold in 3A. Our prediction, Riverside – 6, Steel Valley – 5. I have to take the stronghold here, but I am telling you this will be an exciting ball game and the Ironmen will not go down without a fight.

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  • 12-2 Brownsville faces off against 11-6 Valley in this battle. Valley enters after barely getting past Beaver Falls 7-5 in last round. I expect them to have a lot of trouble here against a very talented Brownsville program. Brownsville will win 7-2, and move onto the Final Four.

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  • Avonworth vs Shady Side Academy. SSA was our sleeper pick in last round, and they answered with a crazy 6-5 victory over Waynesburg. The game was called after the 5th inning due to rain and SSA was awarded a bid into the Elite Eight. Now, they will have to take on the 14-4 Antelopes. I am predicting an Avonworth victory here by a score of 9-2. The Lopes are moving on.

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  • This contest is up there with the Riverside/Steel Valley game in terms of excitement. I think both of these teams are extremely talented, and will not be surprised at all if Burrell pulls off the upset. They come off a 12-5 rout over Mt. Pleasant, but I have to pick the latter in this one and roll with South Side Beaver. The Rams are 12-4 this season after playing in the most competitive section 3A has to offer. They are battle tested and craving a rematch against their Rival (Avonworth) in the Final Four. Rams win 5-4.

 

4A

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  • We have talked about Blackhawk a ton this season, and rightfully so. They have two of the best players not just in 4A, but in the entire WPIAL in Turconi and McClymonds. They support a 16-1 overall record, and are by far the team to beat in 4A. With that being said, we have to talk about Greensburg Salem. An 8-2 win over a very talented South Park team was eye-opening, and now, they are playing their best baseball at the most crucial time of year. They have won 6 straight and will need to bring their A+ game to get past the Cougars. We still have to take Blackhawk in this one, by a score of 5-1, but do not be surprised if GS turns this one into a classic.

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  • Last week was awesome and let me tell you why. For the first time all season the New Castle fans, were my fans!! They did not through any shade, there was no hate present, and they loved me showing support for the #CanesCuz. Well New Castle fans, it is time to start the beef once more, because I am picking Ringgold here. Ringgold is 14-3, and Ryan Varley is one of the most underrated talents in the entire WPIAL. New Castle has made me a believer this year, but the Rams are too good and will win this one 6-4.

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  • The Knights of Knoch are 14-3 and one of the premier teams in the conference. Hopewell enters this contest after defeating Belle Vernon 3-1. We predicted this upset in large part due to the talent of Joe Rock on the bump. The Knights bring a different kind of talent in this one, and I think they will be too much for the Vikings to handle. Knock will move onto the final four winning this one 4-0.

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  • Only a few teams have given Blackhawk a run for their money this year. One of those squads was the South Fayette Lions, and they did it twice. Other sources in the area have picked them to take home the gold, and after a 14-5 year, they could match up with the Cougars in Consol once again. This round, they play West Mifflin, a gritty team who has excelled on the back of their ace, Ben Visnesky. This is going to be a thrilling back-and-forth contest, but I have to take the Lions to come out victorious. Score, South Fayette – 3, West Mifflin – 1.

 

5A

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  • #1 Moon takes on #8 Hampton in this Quarterfinal matchup. The Talbots enter after a walk off two run bomb from William and Mary commit, Phil Conti. Conti and the rest of the talented Talbot lineup will get to face off against one of 5A’s best arms, Dayton commit Nick Maue. Both of these teams run deep with talent, but I am taking the Tigers here. Moon is going to win this one 5-4, and move on to the Final Four.

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  • This is THE game to watch in the second round. The Mustangs and their high powered offense will get the opportunity to go up against the stud that is Will Bednar. The Ohio State commit put together another masterful performance in a 2-1 win over Trinity. That game was a little too close for our liking, but we still think the Planets will win this one and move onto the Final Four. Mars is an extremely talented team that is playing their best ball of the year right now. Final score: Mars – 3, LH – 2.

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  • We picked against the likes of the Colts last round, and they responded by destroying Latrobe 12-2. This round, they will face off against section foe, West Allegheny. West A swept the season series thus far, winning the respective contests 4-1 and 2-0. We expect more of the same in this one, with the Indians defeating the Colts 5-2. The #2 seed will play in the final four on Wednesday.

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  • North Hills is one of our favorite teams in this conference. They are loaded with talent, and that will be showcased prominently when they take on Franklin Regional this Tuesday. The Panthers moved into the Semis after taking down Montour 11-2. Franklin showed they can score it with the best of them, but I think that run stops here. Give us North Hills, 6-1. The Indians are moving onto the Final Four.

 

6A

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  • #1 Central Catholic faces off against #8 Butler. The Vikings are 14-4, and were crowned the champs of the toughest section this conference has to offer. They absolutely deserved the #1 seed, but I am picking Butler to pull off the upset. This contest is going to feature two of the best arms in the WPIAL. Marshall McGraw leads the entire slate with a 9-0 record. Butler’s ace, Connor Ollio, is a UNC recruit that already has one playoff gem under his belt. I have to side with Ollio in this battle. As superb as McGraw has been, I think Ollio lives for these moments, and will shine in the spotlight. Butler – 3, CC – 2.

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  • 14-5 Bic Macs, 16-4 Mustangs. This one is going to be fun to watch. One of the WPIAL Baseball Games to Watch, we expect big things to go down. This is a coin flip where either team could win, and could take their talents all the way to Consol. I have to side with the Big Macs here in a 5-4 fashion over Plum. As I said before, Canon Mac is one of the toughest teams to beat this time of year, and I would stay away if I could.

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  • #2 Seeded Bethel Park takes on the University of North Allegheny. NA pulled off an upset over a very talented Penn Trafford team a week ago. The Tigers enter this contest with 11-10 record, but will have their hands full with the 17-3 Hawks headed their way. I am 100% siding with Bethel here, and predict the victorious score of 7-1.

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  • The Rams are rolling. Pine Richland knocked out Peters in a 5-1 fashion in round 1, and will now go up against a 15-5 Hempfield squad. Hempfield is a legit competitor who has the capabilities of making a deep, deep, playoff run, but Pine has some absolute STUDS on their squad. We are taking the talent here, and picking the Rams to continue their streak in a 7-5 fashion. Pine will move on to the Semis.

2018 WPIAL Playoff First Impressions

It’s the best time of the year. Teams are getting hot at the perfect time, the best players are shining in the biggest moments, and the WPIAL Playoff Brackets have officially been released. This year, more than ever before, we are going to provide you with a significant amount of playoff information. During the upcoming days, you will see our in-depth breakdowns, games to watch, and other unique takes on everything that could possibly happen on the road to Consol.

For now, we are going to go conference by conference describing our opinions after a quick glance at the bracket. The breakdowns below are just our first impressions, but will be described in a heavier fashion later on.

Let’s get down to business, starting with 1A.

1A

  • Vincentian has been at the top of our list all season long, and rightfully so they are the top WPIAL seed. UCONN commit, Kyler Fedko, has been an absolute monster at the dish hitting at a ridiculous pace that makes him the most dominant force 1A has to offer.

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  • Vincentian was handed a 9-8 loss earlier in the year to section rival, Union, who is one of our major teams to watch in this field of 12. However, Union will have a tough track to make it to the potential rematch. First, they would most likely have to get through the likes of Monessen, and then G.C.C., which are two squads that are very tough to beat.
  • Sleeper pick for this group is 100% Jeanette. The defending 1A WPIAL Champs put together an impressive 10 game win streak earlier in the year, and are easily capable of repeating for the gold. They are on a two game skid right now, taking L’s from GCC and Monessen, but a first round matchup against Leechburg should put them right back on track.
  • Our deep, deep, deep, sleeper is Cornell. The Raiders were highly overlooked all season long, and this Blackstone kid can really play ball. Cornell will have a tough road ahead going up against a solid West Greene team, and then the top dawg in Vincentian, but we like what we are seeing out of the Raiders this season.

2A

  • #3 Neshannock is phenomenal, #2 North Catholic is a group of absolute BALL PLAYERS, but it looks like no one can come close to taking down the powerhouse that is #1 Serra Catholic. Serra has one loss all season, and it came in a 4-3 fashion against one of the best teams in 3A (Avonworth). They are playing at a different level right now, and their 19-1 record shows what they are fully capable of, which is acquiring another gold medal.
  • If there is one Underdog team in this group I am taking Shenango. They got off to a bit of a rocky start this season, but finished out in a very strong fashion. I like their draw, and think they have more than enough talent to play for a medal in Washington.
  • We want, we want, we want a CWNC vs Neshannock final four contest. These section rivals have already gotten into two major battles earlier this season with CWNC coming out on top both times. I am not calling it now, but know that Neshannock could make a third matchup very intriguing if the oppurtunity presents itself.

3A

  • Honestly, while taking a quick glance at the 3A bracket I am pretty disappointed. There are several teams I really like out of this group and think they could scrap together a nice playoff run, however they are all on the same side this year. The heavy favorite is Riverside who has dominated on their path to a 15-1 record. But, they will have to go up against a winner of Steel Valley/Charleroi, two teams that are both very good and know how to win come playoff time, and then take down #4 seeded Brownsville who is 12-2 on the year and easily won section 3.
  • The WPIAL rewarded Avonworth and South Side Beaver for having to deal with Riverside twice a year, giving both teams the respective #2 and #3 seeds. Don’t get me wrong, I think Avonworth is the second best team in 3A, and should have no trouble making their way to Consol. I am very curious to see how SSB holds up.
  • Looking quickly at this field of 12, I could easily see it playing out in a chalk format. Higher seeds all the way through with the top two powerhouses battling for a third time this season under the bright lights of Consol Energy Park.

4A

  • I am all on board for the 4A playoffs. This group is as deep as you could ever imagine and will create some very entertaining ball games.
  • With that being said, Blackhawk is incredible. 16-1, 14-0 in section, two absolute studs in Turconi and McClymonds. It is going to be extremely tough to take these guys down.
  • You know how just above I said 3A will play out like chalk? Yeah, I am taking the latter for this conference. Give me South Park, give me New Castle, and throw in some Hopewell all to take games in round one from the higher seeds. You might call it crazy, but with this season I am calling it a comeback.
  • All three of these teams started off their seasons roughly. South Park was one of the top teams we had our eye on this preseason, and found their way back to playoff contention with an 8 game winning streak to finish the season. New Castle is a tough group of guys who really believe in their abilities this year. They started off section play 0-3, and answered that call going 9-2. Hopewell is very similar to our opinion of South Park: they have shown glimmers of greatness, but have also struggled mightily. I am a big believer in Joe Rock, Ohio commit, and think he can guide the Vikings towards the Elite Eight.

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5A

  • Moon had never once been #1 on our Power Rankings, they have gone up to as high as #2, but never controlled the top spot. The Tigers slid into the premier position by winning 13 of their last 15 contests. During that span, they handed West Allegheny their first loss, and beat the likes of 6A strongholds, Mt. Lebo and Norwin. Playoffs is a lot about pitching, and the Tigers have two Arms, Maue and Schoeneweis, who are more than capable of dominating a ball game.
  • After the Tigers, there are three teams that I would not bat an eye if they raised a WPIAL banner at the end of this season. Those squads are #3 North Hills, #4 Laurel Highlands, and #5 Mars. North Hills was the consensus #1 for majority of the season and hosts a 17-3 record. Laurel Highlands surprised us all on their way to a 15-3 season, but proved they are a fantastic ball club. And Mars, our preseason #1 that could not figure out how to win, ends their year on a 5 game dub streak. Like I said before that pitching is the key, Mars has two D1 arms controlling their staff, Bednar and Craska.
  • WPIAL Fans, if you want the best game to watch out of the entire lineup for May 15th, headover to Fox Chapel and watch #8 Hampton take on #9 Gateway. Two legit squads that have had awesome seasons.

6A

  • Vanderbilt, Penn State, Kent State. Three Major Division 1 programs who all have commits playing for none other than the Pine Richland Rams. And yet, PR is not the one seed and they failed to win their section. Instead, the top dawg is Central Catholic. The Vikings won their last 7 games, finishing with a 14-4 record in the toughest section in 6A.

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  • Now with that being said, Pine is still one of our MAJOR teams to watch out for. They are obviously battle tested at this point, and with that much raw talent in one lineup it is going to be a difficult team to beat. They would not have to matchup with Central until the finals, but wow would that make for a great WPIAL Championship.
  • One of the coolest stories of the year has been Bethel Park’s trek to the top. The #2 overall seed was not a highly touted team during the preseason, but Eastern Michigan commit, Justin Meis, has dominated Section 3 this season en route to a 17-3 record for the Hawks.
  • My favorite team to watch come playoff time are the Canon Mac Big Macs. Year in, and year out, their lineup is always filled with tough outs. They are grinders and know what to do in order to squeeze out tough ball games. This year, it is not just the lineup teams have to look out for. Their pitching staff has a huge presence on the mound that should contribute greatly towards their chances of making a deep playoff run.

These were just our first impressions and there will be a lot more playoff information coming your way! Make sure you hit the subscribe button on the left hand side of the screen, and continue to tune in on Twitter and Instagram @wpial_baseball to stay up to date on everything you need to know before the postseason officially gets underway!

Week 4 – Games to Watch

We are officially into the fourth week of WPIAL baseball action. So far this season has been extremely exciting, with some surprise teams establishing their rank early in section play. Usually right around this time is when the true colors of each team start to show. Pretenders fall to the back, contenders rise to the opportunity, and the powerhouses assert their dominance.

Monday starts off hot with top 5 matchups in five of the six conferences, and a showdown between the top two squads in 3A, Riverside and Avonworth. Moving on 48 hours later, Wednesday plays host to the likes of undefeated 4A powerhouses, Freeport and Knoch. We are also very intrigued with the GCC/Jeanette matchup in 1A. The defending WPIAL champs play host to a very hot GCC squad that believes they have what it takes to make a deep playoff run. Rounding out the weekend on the 20th, WPIAL fans will get the opportunity to watch a 6A Non-Section showdown between #1 Butler and #4 Hempfield. Also, the 2A heavy favorite, Serra Catholic, will have to travel to the likes of #7 Carlynton in a tough road matchup.  

Here is the full Week 4 – Games To Watch List:

April 16th

6A

#2 Pine Richland @ #5 North Allegheny

5A

#4 West Allegheny @ #5 Moon Area

#3 Laurel Highlands @ #7 Gateway

3A

#1 Riverside @ #2 Avonworth

2A

#3 CWNC @ #2 Neshannock

1A

#4 Union @ #5 Eden Christian

 

April 18th

6A

#7 Penn Trafford @ #6 Norwin

5A

#6 Hampton @ #2 Mars

4A

#4 Freeport @ #2 Knoch

#6 West Mifflin @ #9 South Park

3A

#5 Steel Valley @ #7 Shady Side Academy

#2 Avonworth @ #8 South Side Beaver’

#3 Brownsville @ #4 Charleroi

2A

#5 OLSH @ #3 CWNC

#6 Bishop Canevin @ #7 Carlynton

1A

#1 Vincentian @ #5 Eden Christian

#2 GCC @ #3 Jeanette

 

April 20th

6A

#4 Hempfield @ #1 Butler*

#3 Canon Mac @ #8 USC

5A

#6 Hampton @ #1 North Hills

#3 Laurel Highlands @ #8 Franklin Regional

4A

#7 Ringgold @ #6 West Mifflin

3A

#1 Riverside @ #8 South Side Beaver

2A

#8 Laurel @ #5 OLSH

#1 Serra Catholic @ #7 Carlynton

1A

#2 GCC @ #8 Monessen

#6 Quigley Catholic @ #9 Rochester

 

*Non-Section Matchup

Friday Feature – Connor Ollio

We are starting a new segment here at WPIAL Baseball, where we showcase one of the WPIAL’s top ball players. To start this new addition to our lineup, we decided to interview Butler’s very own, Connor Ollio.

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If you have yet to hear about what is brewing in Butler this year, you better start tuning in. The Golden Tornadoes are off to an incredible 4-0 start to their season, with one of these wins coming in upset fashion over the heavy 6A favorite, Pine Richland. Ollio is a force all over the field. His fastball has already been recorded above the 90 mph mark, on the flip side he showcases gap-to-gap power and quick hands, and also carries the utility skill-set to thrive at any position on the diamond.

All of these talents are extremely impressive, but what is most intriguing with Connor is his maturity as a ball player and person. He was a part of the 15u, USA baseball team that brought home the Pan Am gold in 2015. After his final season at Butler, he will move on to play for Mike Fox and the baseball powerhouse that is the University of North Carolina.  

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I had a chance to discuss a number of topics with Connor, and here is what he had to say.

Q : First, I just wanted to start talking about your team at Butler this season. Obviously you guys are off to an awesome start, what’s the mindset throughout the team right now during this period of success?

C : We get after it every day. Our goal is trying to make ourselves a little bit better each time we play/practice. Most importantly we all play for each other, and always have each other’s back.

Q : We had you guys highly ranked, and knew you were going to be tough to beat, but as a team did you know this season had a legitimate chance to be a really special season? Is the mantra this season WPIAL Title or bust?

C : Absolutely. We’re a tight group that’s been playing together for a long time. We knew we had something special, we just had to work hard and put it all together.

Q : 6A Section 1 is kind of like the group of death in that conference. All 6 of the squads are competitive year in and year out and have flirted with the top 10 in our rankings at one point or another during the early weeks. Is there a particular team that you guys really look forward to going up against? Like a sort of rivalry you guys circle on the schedule that you want to win just a little bit more than the other contests?

C : Every section game is a huge game of course, but we definitely like to play Pine. It’s always a fun game.

Q : Yes it’s definitely a potential 6A championship matchup, so we love seeing how it fares during the regular season. So now on to you a little personally. Who were some of the final schools you were deciding between for your commitment, and what made you ultimately choose the Tar Heels?

C : I had it narrowed down to UNC, Wake Forest and Duke. I could really see myself succeeding both on and off the field in chapel hill. I love campus, the coaching staff, and all the facilities there

Q : We like to promote hotbeds for college recruiting we can for the younger players who have not committed yet can see where they might have the most success getting seen. Was there a particular place or tournament that UNC saw you play at?

C : They ended up coming down to Georgia to see me play in a summer ball tournament, and recruited me right after that.

Q : Ok, rapid fire time, you ready to go?

C: Let’s do it.

Q : What’s the go to song/artist on CO’s playlist prior to game time?

C: Oh man that’s tough haha. Uhh I’d probably go with Run This Town by Jay-Z with Rihanna and Kanye.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?

C: Sandlot

Q : Xbox or Playstation?

C : I don’t play many video games but I had an Xbox so I’ll go with that

Q : Favorite professional sports team?

C : Red Sox

Q : Favorite professional athlete?

C : Mike trout

Q : Anything you want to say to the WPIAL Baseball fans or any shoutouts you want to give before we cut it off?

C : Haha that’s okay. Hopefully I can save the shoutout for the end of the season. Thank you for the opportunity, this was great!

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