I'm just sayin' ...
*** A new alignment for WPIAL baseball next year will mean the playoffs will have a different look. That's a good thing because the WPIAL baseball playoffs need to change.
I'm not the only one who doesn't like the way the WPIAL baseball playoffs are set up. I know some coaches feel the same way. The problem with the current system is teams that get first-round byes can win a championship by throwing only their No. 1 pitcher in three consecutive games. It is entirely possible a team can win a title without ever throwing a second pitcher.
Let me explain. Three teams in Class AAAA, four in AAAA, one in Class AA and three in Class A received first-round byes and will play in the quarterfinals today. The winners of the quarterfinal games probably won't play until next week, which means a team's No. 1 pitcher can throw the entire game today, and then come back and pitch again in the semifinals. The championships are two weeks away. So that No. 1 pitcher can also throw in the title game.
Sorry, but I don't think any baseball tournament should be set up where a team can throw its No. 1 pitcher every inning of every game.
Thomas Jefferson was the No. 4 seed in the Class AAA playoffs. But heck, the way the playoffs are set up, I truly think they should the No. 1 seed. Why? Because stud pitcher Greg Schneider can pitch every game. Schneider (pictured) has been super, giving up only two runs all season. With him on the mound, Thomas Jefferson has to be the favorite in every game. It would be an upset if he lost.
I know weather, proms and other school functions play a factor in WPIAL playoff scheduling, but what tournament, from Little League to NCAA, is set up where a team can use the same pitcher in three games and win a title? Crazy. This tournament would be better if at least the quarterfinals and semifinals were played closer together, so that a team couldn't use its No. 1 pitcher in both of those games.
Or the WPIAL should have taken four teams to the playoffs from each section, instead of three. Then teams wouldn't get first-round byes.
This problem should be allevaited next year because of the new alignment. Next season, there will be at least five teams in every section. With three teams going to the playoffs in each section, each classification will have at least 15 teams. This season, there are only four sections in Class AAAA, AAA and A. That is why there are byes.
*** In getting back to Thomas Jefferson's Greg Schneider, I don't remember a WPIAL pitcher having this kind of season. He is 8-0 and has allowed only two runs. Not two earned runs. TWO OVERALL!!!! And that is in 48 1/3 innings. Schneider also has 88 strikeouts. Schneider, by the way, is a Pitt recruit.
*** It seems some people are having trouble understanding how the WPIAL could make two different rulings on two sophomore football players who transferred to Central Catholic. After hearings on Monday, the WPIAL made running back Niko Thorpe eligible after transferring from Shaler. But the WPIAL made quarterback J.J. Cosentino ineligible after transferring from Kiski Area.
Maybe it's a little hard to understand how the WPIAL Board of Control could make two different rulings. But you need to know this: Most of the time, the parties involved ask that the hearing is closed. No media allowed. And the WPIAL can't discuss particulars that were brought up in the hearing. Thus, you really don't know what evidence, or lack of evidence, was presented in terms of transfers for athletic intent.
That being said, I would guess Cosentino has about a 90 percent chance of the decision being overturned at the PIAA level.
*** A quick note on the basketball recruiting front, some young players are starting to catch the attention of some Division I colleges. Dayton, Vermont, North Carolina Wilmington and a few others are already showing interest in Hampton sophomore twin brothers Ryan and Colin Luther.
A few Division I schools also are starting to show interest in Beaver Falls sophomore guard Elijah Cottrill.
*** South Florida recently made a scholarship offer to Kiski School junior guard Major Canady. That goes along with a few other Division I offers.