Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Article excerpt


Class AAAA

The winner will be: Plum. There's no reason to pick anyone other than the first team to enter the postseason undefeated (19-0) since California two years ago and first to do so in Class AAAA since Norwin in 2012. And of course, the Mustangs feature star senior outfielder/pitcher Alex Kirilloff, a likely first-round pick in the MLB draft next month.

The scoop: Pine-Richland came out on top in perhaps the toughest section and could get a boost from lefty pitcher Ryan Okuda, who only returned to action late last month because of injury. . Shaler still has much of its lineup from last year's 20-win team, but will need sophomore Christian Seelhorst to continue a strong season on the mound. . Canon-McMillan was 6-0 in the second half of Section 5 play. . Peters Township's Tor Sehnert entered Thursday with eight home runs and 26 RBIs.

History lesson: With Central Catholic missing the playoffs, this will be the first year the previous season's champion can't defend its title since 2007. ... This year marks the 45th anniversary of the first title game at Three Rivers Stadium. In 1971, Highlands beat Ellwood City, 6-5. There was only one classification for baseball back then.

Class AAA

The winner will be: Montour. Class AAA looks like a wide open field, but Montour finished first in rugged Section 3 and a tough schedule should mean something. The Spartans feature pitcher Trent Vietmeier, a LSU recruit, but this team is much more than Vietmeier.

The scoop: Blackhawk is good enough to win it all and the Cougars seem to be peaking, winning 12 of 13 and averaging 7 runs in those games. ... How good is Laurel Highlands? The Mustangs are 17-1, but played in a suspect section and past playoff losses bring questions (they haven't won a playoff game since 2009). ... West Allegheny always seems to make noise in the playoffs. ... Mars beat out defending PIAA champion Knoch for the Section 5 title and is a team to watch.

History lesson: Fifteen years ago, Franklin Regional won the Class AAA title by defeating Mt. Lebanon, 9-8, in eight innings in the first high school game played at PNC Park. …

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