- High School
It took four years for Serra Catholic pitcher Alain Girman to finally lose a game. Then it happened in consecutive days.
Girman is a senior at Serra who started winning games as a freshman pitcher three years ago and was undefeated through his junior season. With five wins this season, he had an incredible 29-0 record when he took the mound in relief Wednesday against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
But OLSH scored two runs on walks off Girman and handed him his first career loss, 7-6.
Less than 24 hours later, Girman got the start Thursday as Serra played Chartiers-Houston. But Char-Houston had success against Girman and defeated Serra, 9-5.
Girman now has a 29-2 career reocrd.
You will probably have a hard time finding a WPIAL baseball team that has gone through the regular season with a perfect record two years in a row. But it could happen this season.
Norwin takes an 11-0 record into today’s game against Connellsville. After that, Norwin has four section games remaining and seemingly has a good chance to win all of them. The Knights finish the regular season with a tough non-section game against Central Catholic.
Norwin could finish the regular season undefeated for the second year in a row. Last year, the Knights were 16-0 in the regular season.
But Norwin is hoping to go further in the playoffs this year as the Knights lost to Bethel Park, 12-10, in the WPIAL quarterfinals a year ago.
A check of the WPIAL statistics shows only six players in the entire league were batting above .600 through last weekend. Two of the six were California.
T.D. Conway was the third-leading hitter in the WPIAL with a .636 average and Mat Bakewell fourth at .613. With those two, is it any wonder California is undefeated and has scored 10 runs or more in 10 of 12 games, including eight in a row.
Lauren Costa. Get used to the name. You’ll probably be seeing it a lot in WPIAL track the next few years.
Costa is only a freshman at West Allegheny, but has made a gigantic impact on the WPIAL track scene this spring. At the MAC championships Wednesday, she won the 100- and 200-meter dashes as well as the 100 hurdles. She also ran a leg on the first-place 400 relay team.
For the season, Costa is tied for the best 100 time in WPIAL Class AAA at 12.0 seconds. She is third in the 200 at 25.6 and second in the hurdles at 15.09.
At the Beaver County Track and Field championships last weekend, a name synonymous with top athletes showed up on top of one event. Janice Novacek is a senior at Hopewell who won the 800 and ran a leg on the the winning 3,200 team, and finished third in the 1,600.
Novacek’s older twin sisters were standout athletes at Hopewell. Becky Novacek went on to play volleyball at Dayton and Joyce played basketball at Bucknell.
Two large track and field invitationals will be held the next two Fridays. The Mars Invitational is tonight while the Baldwin Invitational is next Friday. Baldwin is one of the biggest invitationals in the country.
Football Coaching News
Keystone Oaks has a new football coach, while Burgettstown is now looking for a coach. On Thursday night, Keystone Oaks hired Matt Taylor as its new coach. Taylor spent the past eight seasons as Burgettstown’s head coach. He takes over for Nick Kamberis, who resigned.
In other coaching moves, Clair Altemus will retire as Pine-Richland’s athletic director this summer, but he will remain the school’s football coach.
Fans Mean Money
Knoch had a huge fan following during its run to the WPIAL Class AAA football championship game last fall. That huge following meant a nice payday for the school.
The WPIAL last week released its shares of playoff revenue for schools around the league. Football, soccer and basketball are the only playoff-revenue producing sports for the WPIAL. The league shares revenue in those sports only.
Knoch made the most money of any WPIAL school in those sports with a total of $20,742. North Allegheny was next with $20,138.
Others who made more than 5,000 dollars were Upper St. Clair (13,996), Montour (13,534), Central Catholic (11.421), New Castle (10,413), Jeannette (10,260), Beaver Falls (8,750), Sto-Rox (8,747), Gateway (7,242), Penn-Trafford (7,071), Monessen (6,477), Central Valley (6,194), Clairton (6,164), Aliquippa (5,600), Hampton (5,508), Franklin Regional (5,448), Seton-LaSalle (5,430) and Hopewell (5,388).
Where Are They Now?
Former Seneca Valley star pitcher Cory Mazzoni was a second-round draft pick of the New York Mets last June out of North Carolina State. Mazzoni is off to a nice start with the Mets advanced Class A team in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He is 2-0 with a 3.79 ERA in four starts. In a game April 16, he pitched five innings, did not allow a run, struck out four and gave up only three hits.