WPIAL Class 5A baseball preseason breakdown
While Mars has been golden on the lad’s basketball courtroom the closing two years, the Fightin’ Planets are tired of seeing the silver lining at the diamond. After dropping to Latrobe within the first WPIAL Class 5A championship recreation in 2017, Mars changed into knocked-off by way of North Hills in an eleven-inning immediate classic name sport ultimate spring, three-2. With one of the pinnacle players inside the district returning, Mars may also get any other crack at that elusive first baseball crown. Here is a examination of the new district alignment at the side of the baseball teams and gamers to look at in WPIAL Class 5A in 2019. CLASS 5A Preseason Top five Team (2018 document) 1. Mars (sixteen-7) — It all starts offevolved with the son of head instruct Andy Bednar, senior Will Bednar. The senior proper-hander changed into eight-0 with a zero.64 ERA in 2018. He allowed 39 hits with eleven walks and a hundred and twenty strikeouts in sixty-six innings. The Mississippi State recruit is joined within the rotation by using senior Shane Fox and junior Joe Craska. Senior outfielder Rowan Fletcher and senior shortstop Tyler Kowalkowski additionally return. 2.
South Fayette (17-6) — Twenty years in the past, South Fayette won its first baseball identify via claiming WPIAL Class A gold. Last year, the Lions captured every other baseball name, triumphing the Class 4A championship with a 4-1 win over Ringgold. Now the 4A champs maintain moving on up to 5A. The inexperienced gadget returns numerous key gamers from the championship run remaining 12 months, which include seniors Ryan Kokoski (OF) and Mitch Dunay (INF), together with juniors Ryan Lutz (C), Eli Snider (P), and Joey Alcorn (P, OF, 2B). Pitching ace Tyler Bedillion is long gone, but the Lions go back seniors Richie Dell (Kent State), Kokoski, Alcorn, and Snider to the rotation. Three. West Allegheny (16-three) — The Indians have been Section 2-5A co-champions a yr ago with Moon. However, they misplaced to eventual champion North Hills inside the semifinals. After triumphing the comfort recreation, West A reached the PIAA semifinals, where it misplaced to Marple Newtown.
Junior outfielder Austin Hendrick is a Mississippi State recruit and one of the pinnacle gamers inside the district. Shea Downing joined Hendrick as a primary-crew all-section participant from a yr in the past. Four. Shaler (7-10) — Last season became a rare miss of the postseason for Shaler, which finished tied for fourth place with North Allegheny and Seneca Valley in Section 1-6A. However, they lost out on tiebreakers. Now in Class 5A, the Titans are anticipated to be in the blend in a tough Section 2 with experienced pitchers back in junior Nick Rispoli (Dayton), senior Hunter Boyan (Pitt-Greensburg), and junior Jake Bredl. 5. Hampton (16-6) — Hampton became an elite business enterprise the remaining year, finishing tied with runner-up Mars and a game behind champion North Hills in Section 1-5A.
The Tablets were shut out in the 5A semifinals with the aid of North Hills last year, then lost 6-5 to West Allegheny in the consolation recreation. Three key gamers returning for Hampton are senior pitcher and outfielder Casey Marshalwitz (Youngstown State), senior infielder Tyler Bischke (Kent State), and senior catcher Burke Camper (Towson). Players to look at Jordan Albright, Sr., 2B, North Hills Will Bednar, Sr., P, Mars Burke Camper, Sr., C, Hampton Richie Dell, Sr., P, South Fayette Ethan French, Sr., P, Gateway Austin Hendrick, Jr., OF, West Allegheny Michael Klingensmith, Sr., OF, Franklin Regional Casey Marshalwitz, Sr., OF, Hampton Nick Rispoli, Jr., P, Shaler Andino Vecchiolla, Jr., P, Laurel Highlands Notable • Class 5A has 20 teams this year, down from 22 a year ago. Realignment moved Latrobe and Brashear as much as 6A, dropped Shaler and Penn Hills to 5A, moved South Fayette as much as 5A, and dropped Obama Academy, Thomas Jefferson, and McKeesport to 4A.
• Defending champion North Hills has a brand new bench boss. Gone is Randy Miller, as his assistant Steve Long takes over. • North Hills gained Section 1, West Allegheny and Moon tied for the Section 2 identify, and Laurel Highlands earned the Section three crown. • Laurel Highlands pulled off a huge turnaround closing yr, completing 13-1 in Section 3, a notable seven-sport development from a 6-eight phase ended in 2017. • Laurel Highlands, Fox Chapel, and Trinity made the WPIAL playoffs in 2018 after missing the yr before. Armstrong and Thomas Jefferson overlooked out on the postseason a yr ago after qualifying in 2017.