Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Attitude Was Key to South Fayette's Success

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Attitude Was Key to South Fayette's Success

Article excerpt

It might sound clich?, but having a winning attitude is nearly essential for teams hoping to accomplish big things.

As has been the case the past couple of seasons, few teams personify that state of mind better than the South Fayette High School baseball team.

South Fayette's season came to an end a week ago when the Lions fell to defending champion Riverside in a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal, but what happened in that game and the 23 preceding it exemplified what this team -- and program, in general -- is all about.

"We're winners," said junior center fielder Mike Fetchet. "Going into every game, we expect to win. We came into the season expecting to win the section title. We knew we had the players, so if we played well we could win WPIALs and states."

The team's prophecy of winning the Section 1 title came to fruition when the Lions went 12-2 to finish in the top spot. It marked the third time in four seasons the Lions (16-8 overall) had won at least a share of the section championship. It sent the Lions to the WPIAL playoffs for the fifth year in a row.

South Fayette won a pair of games in the WPIAL playoffs -- against Steel Valley, 5-3, and Laurel, 12-4 -- before falling to Ellwood City, 14-11, in the semifinals. Finishing in the top four of the WPIAL vaulted the Lions into the PIAA playoffs, where they earned their first win since 2009 -- they reached the finals that season -- with a 5-4 victory against District 6 champion Mount Union. Then, in last Thursday's quarterfinals, the Lions fell to WPIAL runner-up Riverside, 5-4.

The Riverside defeat was especially tough, as South Fayette took a 4-0 lead in the first inning before eventually falling victim to a winning, two-run homer by Riverside's Tyler Falk in the sixth.

Fetchet, who was the runner-up in the 160-pound weight class at the WPIAL Class AA wrestling championships, said his team was understandably upset at losing a game they seemed to have in hand.

"It was a real tough loss because we put ourselves in a position to win the game early," Fetchet said. …

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