Bedford-Bishop McCort baseball

Bishop McCort’s Brendon Bair (right) avoids a tag by Bedford shortstop Mercury Swaim on April 1 at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point. Both teams are in action on Monday in the PIAA baseball playoffs. Bedford plays Hopewell at Everett in Class AAA, while Bishop McCort battles Union in Class A at the Iron Horse Complex in Windber.

Eight area baseball and softball teams will embark on their PIAA tournament quests, starting Monday. 

The Bedford, Bishop McCort Catholic and Conemaugh Township baseball squads won their respective district titles. Rockwood earned a bid as District 5 runner-up. 

In softball, the Conemaugh Township and Shanksville-Stonycreek units took home District 5 championships in Class AA and Class A, respectively. Chestnut Ridge and Rockwood are district runner-ups who advanced to the state tournament. 

Here is a look at Monday’s contests involving the eight area squads.  

Baseball

Class A-Rockwood vs. California, at Greater Latrobe, 1:30 p.m.: The Rockets aim to rebound from a 4-3 loss in nine innings to Forbes Road in the District 5 title game. 

Rockwood (16-6) faces District 7 champion California (18-1). The Trojans have won 17 straight games since their only loss to Waynesburg Central on March 28. California defeated Union 9-5 for its sixth WPIAL championship. 

Sophomore Brody Conner went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while senior Nate Zemany tossed six effective innings for California. 

Rockwood senior Troy Emert leads the squad with a .557 average, 34 hits, 32 RBIs, 14 stolen bases, nine doubles and four triples. Emert has compiled a 1.58 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 62 frames of work. 

Senior Rhett Pletcher has contributed a .464 average with 34 runs, 32 hits and 19 RBIs. Freshman Aaron Weaver tops the club with four home runs, while adding 29 RBIs. 

Class A-Bishop McCort vs. Union, at Iron Horse Complex, 4 p.m.: The Crimson Crushers return to the familiar territory of the state tournament. Bishop McCort (15-6) senior Nick McGowan provided a game-winning, two-run single in the bottom of the fifth in a 4-3 victory over St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy in the District 6 championship game. 

Union (15-4), from New Castle, won 14 of 16 games before falling 9-5 to California in the District 7 championship game. 

The Scotties are led by junior Nate Meeks, who posts a .540 average with 27 hits, 18 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Sophomore Jake Vitale sports a 1.86 ERA with 43 punchouts in 26 1/3 innings. 

Sophomore Brendon Bair paces Bishop McCort with a .358 average, 24 hits, 22 RBIs and five doubles at the plate, while posting a 1.42 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.

Class AA-Conemaugh Township vs. Coudersport, at Somerset, 4:30 p.m.: The Indians (21-2) return to the PIAA playoffs for the third straight season, by virtue of a 10-2 victory over WestPAC foe Meyersdale. 

Coudersport (17-4), the District 9 runner-up, defeated West Shamokin 6-2 in a PIAA play-in game on May 30. The Falcons won six straight before a 5-4 loss to Moniteau in the District 9 title game. 

Conemaugh Township has won 16 consecutive games since its lone loss to Bishop McCort on April 7. Senior Devin Foster, a California (Pa.) signee, spearheads the Indians with a .515 avearage, 34 hits, 44 RBIs, seven doubles, five home runs, 0.61 ERA and 128 strikeouts in

57 1/3 innings. 

Class AAA-Bedford vs. Hopewell, at Everett, noon: The Bisons (12-8) defeated Brookville 6-3 for the District 5-9 subregional championship. 

Senior Nate Semanek paces Bedford with a .431 average, 28 hits, 26 runs, 20 RBIs, nine doubles and the team’s only two home runs.

Dylan Arnold, Jesse Arnold and Jared Dowey have all thrown at least 29 innings for the Bisons.

Hopewell (15-6) dropped a 5-4 decision in eight innings to Steel Valley in the District 7 title game. 

Junior Jake McGovern tops the Vikings with a .403 average, 27 RBIs, 25 hits, six doubles and four triples. He also has logged the most innings (50 2/3) for a 1.38 ERA.

Softball

Class A-Shanksville-Stonycreek vs. Glendale, at Somerset, noon: The Vikings (17-4) topped Rockwood 11-1 in six innings to claim the program’s first District 5 title. 

Glendale (20-4) dropped a 8-5 decision to Claysburg-Kimmel in the District 6 championship game.

Shanksville-Stonycreek is led by freshman Liz Salsgiver (.523 average) and senior Sidney Stutzman (.522). Senior Lexus Wilt has fanned 148 batters in 88 frames, posting a 3.10 ERA.

Class A-Rockwood vs. West Greene, at Peters Township, 5 p.m.: The Rockets (13-7) face a steep test in the two-time PIAA state champion Pioneers (19-4).

Three Rockwood players have at least a .500 average, led by senior Natalie King’s .531 clip with 26 hits and five doubles.

West Greene just claimed its fourth straight District 7 gold medal.

Junior Jade Renner has fanned 113 batters in 112 innings to post a 1.50 ERA. 

Four starters have at least a .500 average, while three have driven in at least 32 runs each. 

Class AA-Conemaugh Township vs. Brandywine Heights, at Windber, 3:30 p.m.: The Indians return to the PIAA playoffs for the second straight season.

Conemaugh Township (20-1) defeated Meyersdale 5-0 in six innings for its second District 5 crown. 

Sophomore Sarah Favreau paces the Indians with a .533 average, 40 hits and 35 runs scored, while adding 27 RBIs. 

Senior Abby Hoffman (.528) has clubbed five home runs and eight doubles to go with 26 RBIs. 

Senior Katie College (.526) has 40 hits to add to her 30 RBIs.

Senior Carlie Dillon, who also blasted five home runs, fanned 214 batters in 1271/3 innings to post a 0.99 ERA and .132 average against.

Brandywine Heights (14-10) lost a 7-2 game to Susquenita in the District 3 championship game.

Class AAA-Chestnut Ridge vs. Clearfield, at Heindl Field, DuBois, 3 p.m.: The Lions (19-4) look to get over a 9-5 loss to Bald Eagle Area in the District 5-6 title game.

Clearfield (12-9)  defeated Karns City 5-1 for the District 9 crown. Freshman Emma Hipps has a .435 averaged with 30 hits, 18 RBIs and six home runs to complement a 1.63 ERA with 209 strikeouts in 129 innings.

Chestnut Ridge senior Atlanta Milliron has a 1.86 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 822/3 innings. 

Makayla Weyant has a .465 average with 32 RBIs.

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