High school baseball: Three WPIAL champs fall in first round of PIAA playoffs



Monday was not a good day to be a WPIAL champion.

Three WPIAL champs were ousted in the first round of the PIAA playoffs for the first time since 2007.

West Allegheny (Class AAA), Steel Valley (Class AA) and California (Class A) were eliminated. It was California's first loss of the season.

The only WPIAL champion to advance was Class AAAA Seneca Valley.

Overall, only three of the nine WPIAL teams in action advanced.

In Class AAA, West Allegheny (18-5) lost to District 9 champion Punxsutawney, 3-2, at Kelly Automotive Park in Butler.

Punxsutawney's Brandon Blose snapped a 2-2 tie with an RBI double in the top of the seventh. West Allegheny stranded a runner at third base in its final at-bat.

Losing pitcher Colin Claus gave up five hits and struck out nine in seven innings.

Punxsutawney ended West Allegheny's perfect season in the 2007 PIAA playoffs. Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco played for Punxsutawney that season.

Class AA Steel Valley (18-3) lost to District 5 champion Bedford, 10-4, at Fox Chapel.

Steel Valley took an early 2-0 lead, but Bedford surged ahead by scoring the next seven runs.

Steel Valley starting pitcher Derek Morrison gave up seven runs in 41/3 innings.

It was Steel Valley's first loss to a Class AA team this season.

In Class A, California (20-1) fell to District 9 runner-up Cranberry, 2-1, at Burkett Complex in Robinson.

Cranberry's Dylan Cyphert, a Penn State recruit, tossed a three-hitter and struck out 10.

California was trying to become the first WPIAL team to win a PIAA title with an undefeated record.

Class AAAA

DuBois 10, Baldwin 3: DuBois used a five-run first to topple Baldwin (16-4) at Brockway. Baldwin's Nick Bernick was the losing pitcher, but had three of his team's eight hits. Chris Eisel homered for the Highlanders. Tom McCarthy and Jordan Gitzen had the other RBIs. DuBois' Derek Heckathorne had three RBIs.

Class AAA

Blackhawk 4, Somerset 3: Chase Migliore's RBI triple in the sixth allowed Blackhawk (15-3) to edge Somerset, 4-3, at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona. Brendan McKay pitched the final three innings and picked up the win after striking out eight of the 10 batters he faced. He improved to 8-1 this season and 30-2 for his career. McKay also drove in the game's first run with a first-inning triple and was intentionally walked three times. Migliore went 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

Class AA

Martinsburg Central 4, Quaker Valley 1: Martinsburg Central had only two hits in the game, but stole five bases and drew three walks in a four-run fifth to beat Quaker Valley (18-4) at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Quaker Valley pitchers gave up six walks. Winning pitcher Mike Mock had 10 strikeouts.

Class A

Carmichaels 5, Southern Fulton 4: Brandon Lawless upped his record to 9-1 by pitching a complete game with nine strikeouts in helping Carmichaels (15-3) defeat Southern Fulton at Somerset. Ryan Zalar had two hits and an RBI for Carmichaels, which led, 5-1, after four innings before Southern Fulton scored three runs in the fifth. Mike Blasinsky and Ty Cole had RBI singles in the first for Carmichaels.

Elk County Catholic 3, Sewickley Academy 2: Elk County Catholic scored on an error in the bottom of the fifth to break a 2-2 tie and went on to defeat Sewickley Academy (10-7) at Brockway. Elk County Catholic led, 2-0, but Sewickley Academy scored twice in the fifth to tie the score.


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