Baseball: 2017 South Season Recap

Written by Brad Everett on .

Going into the 2017 season, South Park had advanced to the WPIAL championship twice and had never reached the PIAA title game.

The Eagles did both this spring.

It was a big season for South Park (23-4), which won the Class 4A Section 3 title and finished as the WPIAL and PIAA runner-up. No other South area team reached either championship game.

South Park was fueled by an outstanding offense that racked up at least nine runs 12 times. That offense went ice cold just twice, but that came in the two title games. The Eagles lost to Blackhawk, 3-0, in the WPIAL championship and fell to Dallas, 5-0, in the PIAA championship. They had scored 22 runs in their two other WPIAL playoff games and 21 runs in their three other PIAA playoff games.

Four South Park players were named to the all-section team: seniors Kyle Thompson and Adam Morris, junior Tyler Bywalski and sophomore Kevin Vaupel.

Three other South teams won section titles. Canon-McMillan (14-6) did not lose a game in 6A Section 3. Likewise with Steel Valley (16-4) in 3A Section 1. Serra Catholic (21-3) dropped just one game in 2A Section 3. Canon-McMillan and Serra Catholic both lost in the WPIAL semifinals. Serra won its third-place consolation game before seeing its season end in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. Steel Valley was knocked out of the WPIAL playoffs in the quarterfinal round.

Individually, Canon-McMillan junior pitcher-first baseman Zach Rohaley had arguably the best season of any South player. Rohaley was 7-0 with a 0.65 ERA and struck out 50 in 43 innings. He also hit .360. Rohaley was picked to the Post-Gazette's All-Area Team.

Serra junior pitcher-first baseman Ben Visnesky led the WPIAL in batting during the regular season with a .615 average. He also led the district with 34 runs and added 31 RBIs. He was exceptional on the mound, as well, going 8-0 with 51 strikeouts.