Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Veteran Rebels Look like a Wpial Contender

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Veteran Rebels Look like a Wpial Contender

Article excerpt

At this time of year, getting outdoors to practice or play on an actual baseball diamond is never easy for area high school teams.

That's why when Neshannock coach Mike Kirkwood called up Shawn Trainer looking for a game last week, the Seton-LaSalle coach jumped at the chance to play a non-section contest against the Lancers.

"That experience is valuable," said Trainer, who is back for his 14th season coaching the Rebels. "You want your guys out there and in those pressure situations, game-in and game-out. Neshannock is always in the playoffs, so for us it was a good game for our guys to play.

"We competed against a good team with some good pitching. It was like playing another playoff game."

After graduating four seniors from a team that reached last year's WPIAL Class AA championship game, Trainer returns a solid core of experience that he hopes can once again compete for a postseason bid this spring.

"We had three sophomore starters last year and we went on a nice playoff run," Trainer said. "That should help confidence-wise, playing in those types of pressure games.

"This section is going to be a grind. Making the [WPIAL] playoffs is our goal every year. This year, we want to get into the playoffs and see where we can go from there."

The Rebels slipped past Neshannock with a 1-0 decision on March 24 and picked up their second win the next day after toppling Brashear, 10-4, at Consol Energy Park in Washington County.

The Rebels also defeated East Allegheny,15-2, and were 3-0 going into this past Wednesday's section game against Carlynton.

"Against Neshannock, both teams got about four hits each, but we faced some good pitching," Trainer said. "Defensively, we made some plays and that's probably why we won. The next day against Brashear, we hit the ball much better and got some good defense. …

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