Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

WPIAL baseball and softball playoffs to begin; GCC boys win track and field gold; Latrobe volleyball gets top seed

Mon May 15, 2023 - 12:55AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon May 15, 2023 - 12:56AM

Hempfield, Belle Vernon softball, PT baseball earn playoff byes

Nearly 30 Westmoreland County baseball and softball teams learned their playoff fate last week, as the WPIAL unveiled the postseason brackets. Among the county squads, Hempfield Area and Belle Vernon Area softball and Penn-Trafford baseball garnered byes. The Spartans received the No. 2 seed in Class 6A, and automatically advance to the semifinals on Wednesday, May 24. Hempfield Area will battle the winner of the quarterfinals clash between third seed Norwin and No. 6 Canon-McMillan, which will be contested on Wednesday at Gateway High School. In Class 4A, the Leopards received the fourth and final bye. As a result, BVA will await its quarterfinals opponent on Wednesday. That matchup will be determined by the first-round clash today between fifth-seeded West Mifflin Area and No. 12 McKeesport Area. Meanwhile, the Warriors were seeded third in Class 5A, and will advance to the quarterfinals. PT will face either No. 6 Peters Township or No. 11 West Allegheny, which will be determined on Wednesday.

GCC boys win track and field gold

For the first time in program history, the Greensburg Central Catholic boys track and field team reigned supreme atop the WPIAL. The Centurions captured the Class 2A title last Tuesday at Peters Township High School. GCC edged Quaker Valley 80-70, and ousted Shenango 91-59 and South Park 92-58. Greensburg Central Catholic prevailed in the 4x100-meter relay (44.90) and 4x400-meter relay (3:29.67). Moreover, James Brewer won the 110-meter high hurdles (15.57), 300-meter hurdles (41.23), and tied in the pole vault (11-04.00) with Grant Brewer. Da’sjon Craggette was victorious in the 100-meter dash (11.14) and 200-meter (23.33), and Jake Havrilesko’s time of 51.31 seconds was the fastest in the 400-meter. Amari Mack took gold in the triple jump (43-04.50), and Samir Crosby topped the competition in the high jump (5-11.50). A pair of Westmoreland County girls teams came up short of gold, as Norwin finished as runner up to North Allegheny in Class 3A, while Derry Area placed fourth in 2A.

Wildcats receive top seed in volleyball postseason

The WPIAL released its boys volleyball playoff brackets last week, as all five Westmoreland County teams clinched postseason berths. Greater Latrobe earned the top seed in Class 2A, and consequently garnered a bye to the quarterfinals. As a result, on Thursday the Wildcats will host the winner of No. 8 Hopewell and ninth-seeded Thomas Jefferson. Derry Area also made the Class 2A postseason, as the No. 11 seed Trojans will travel to face sixth-seeded Ambridge Area on Tuesday. Meanwhile in 3A, Penn-Trafford also received a bye. The Warriors were seeded third, and will host the winner of No. 6 Butler Area and No. 11 Pittsburgh Central Catholic in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Additionally, Norwin was seeded fifth and will play at home on Tuesday against No. 12 Peters Township, while No. 8 Hempfield Area will host ninth-seeded Upper St. Clair, also on Tuesday.

Westmoreland well represented in LAX playoffs

The WPIAL boys and girls lacrosse postseason begins this week, and a slew of Westmoreland County teams are in the fold. Local boys teams in the mix include Hempfield Area, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, and Franklin Regional. On the girls side, Norwin, Franklin Regional, Penn-Trafford, and Greater Latrobe all clinched spots. In boys Class 3A, the Spartans were seeded 10th and will trek to play No. 7 Seneca Valley on Tuesday. On the same night, the No. 12 Knights play at fifth-seeded Pine-Richland. In the 2A bracket, the Warriors were seeded third and garnered a bye to the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Penn-Trafford awaits the winner of the No. 11 Panthers and sixth-seeded host Shaler Area, which takes place tonight. In the girls Class 3A field, the Knights were seeded 12th and will play at No. 5 Shady Side Academy tonight. The winner advances to face homestanding No. 4 Upper St. Clair on Wednesday. In Class 2A on Tuesday, the No. 8 Panthers will host ninth seed South Fayette, No. 10 Penn-Trafford will play at seventh-seeded Quaker Valley, and the No. 12 Wildcats travel to face No. 5 Chartiers Valley.

SHU baseball wins PSAC crown

Seton Hill baseball claimed its third Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, courtesy of a 10-0 victory against West Chester at Slippery Rock University. After winning each of the first three games of the tournament in lopsided fashion, Seton Hill remained dominant on Saturday, defeating the Golden Rams via the run rule in eight innings. The Griffins opened the scoring in the second inning when Max Mandler and Braden Durham notched consecutive hits and Joe Fiedor drew a walk to load the bases. Noah Sweeney delivered a sacrifice fly, Durham scored on a balk, and Vinny Rauso produced a two-run single to cap the inning. Rauso delivered another RBI single in the fourth, as he plated Jack Whalen, who singled and stole second. The Griffins pulled away in the fifth, as Logan Vietmeier doubled, Owen Sabol walked, Mandler doubled, and Durham tripled to increase the advantage to 8-0. Seton Hill sealed the win when Rauso singled and scored in each the sixth and eighth inning. Rauso, who was named the PSAC Tournament MVP, compiled a 5-for-5 effort at the plate with three RBIs and two runs. Additionally, Mandler went 4-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, while Durham added two hits, two RBIs, and a walk. Meanwhile, Andino Vecchiolla, Michael Marinchak, and Blake Barker combined for the shutout. The Griffins opened the tournament on Wednesday, dispatching Shippensburg 12-1 in seven innings. The following day, SHU bested Cal U 12-3. The Griffins defeated West Chester 14-4 in eight innings on Friday. In total, Seton Hill outscored their adversaries 48-8 over the four days. The Griffins, who improved to 44-10, received the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Atlantic Regional and will host a four-team tournament beginning on Thursday.