By Matt Popchock


We know Seneca Valley can pitch, and Georgetown recruit Matt Smith, who has prolonged his fine high school career this postseason, can attest to that. But when the second of the WPIAL Class AAAA Baseball Semifinals resumed, it was Seneca Valley’s hitters who took center stage.

The defending district champs belted out six runs in the fifth inning, and the Raiders (17-4) held on to defeat Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 9-5, at Upper St. Clair’s Boyce-Mayview Complex Tuesday afternoon…and it was an unusual rally, at that.

Only one of Seneca Valley’s 13 hits at that point went for extra bases. Furthermore, those hits equaled the number of runners the Raiders stranded through five.

Nevertheless, that 8-1 lead could not be surmounted by the Vikings (17-5), who were seeking a shot at their first WPIAL baseball championship ever after having outlasted Seneca 8-7 in a non-section game May 10. They will meet North Allegheny, the 2010 WPIAL champion, in a consolation game next week.

Seneca Valley, the No. 3 seed, will face Mount Lebanon (14-8), the No. 9 seed, in the WPIAL Class AAAA Baseball Final at CONSOL Energy Park next week. The Raiders, who also won district gold in Class AAA in 1994, are going for their third WPIAL title all-time, while the Blue Devils are going for their first since 2006.

The game was resumed Tuesday with Seneca Valley ahead, 2-0, in the bottom of the third.

(Follow me on Twitter @mpopchock.)

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