The WPIAL Class A baseball championship game between California and Carmichaels was suspended in the top of the fourth Tuesday night because of lightning and rain. For Carmichaels, the bad weather came a few minutes too late.
Carmichaels ace pitcher Brandon Lawless was pitching when the game was suspended with the score tied, 1-1, at Consol Energy Park in Washington. California had runners on first and second with one out. Under PIAA and WPIAL pitching rules, Lawless can't pitch again when the game is resumed today at 3:30 p.m. But California (19-0) can use its top pitcher, Josh Luko.
Under the rules, a pitcher who works four or five innings needs two days rest. If a pitcher works three or fewer innings, he does not need any rest. If Lawless had not pitched in the fourth, he would have been able to come back today. Carmichaels coach Scott VanSickle seemed perturbed at the situation.
"They started this [fourth] inning when they knew some [bad weather] was coming. So that's kind of funny," said Van Sickle. "Then they cancel it without telling me. They announce it over the PA and don't tell the coach. I'm not real happy with that."
Lawless entered with an 8-1 record and 72 strikeouts. Luko is 9-0, and California coach Nick Damico said he will use Luko again today.
"He needs his rest, but this is it. We need this win and he's our guy, so we'll go with him," Damico said.
"If he is tender and sore, then we'll assess that situation."
If Luko can't pitch, Damico will use Garitt Woodburn.
"He has a 1.35 ERA," said Damico.
"He gets the job done. We're confident with both of those guys."
Van Sickle was unsure who he would start.
"I guess there is a reason this happened," he said. "We've just got to make it work to our advantage."
Seton-LaSalle came close to a rare double take on championships.
Seton-LaSalle lost to Steel Valley, 6-5, in the WPIAL Class AA baseball final Tuesday night at Consol. Steel Valley scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull out the win.
A win would've made Seton-LaSalle only the fourth school in WPIAL history to win basketball and baseball titles in the same school year. The others were West Allegheny in 2007, Mt. Lebanon in 2006 and McKeesport in 1955.
Four Rebels baseball players were on the basketball roster.
Montour hires Saunders
Montour hired Will Saunders as its new boys basketball coach Tuesday night. Saunders had previously been South Park's coach. At Montour, Saunders takes over for Adam Kaufman, who left to become Moon's coach. Saunders also coached at Shady Side Academy and girls at North Allegheny. He won a WPIAL and PIAA title at Shady Side Academy.
For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh.