Baseball: 2017 PIAA Class 1A Semifinal Preview

Written by Brad Everett on .

The game: PIAA Class 1A semifinal
The teams: Greensburg Central Catholic vs. Clarion
Where and when: North Allegheny, Monday, 3 p.m.
Up next: Winner plays High Point-Meyersdale winner in the championship Thursday at Penn State at 12:30 p.m.

Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions
Record: 14-5
District finish: WPIAL runner-up
How they got here: (First round) Juniata Valley, 2-1; (Quarterfinals) Oswayo Valley, 7-2.
What you should know: Wins against two district champions has Greensburg Central Catholic in the semifinals for the first time since winning its lone title in 2002. The Centurions took down District 6 champion Juniata Valley in the first round and eliminated District 9 winner Oswayo Valley in the quarterfinals. Pitching has been the key to the Centurions success in the postseason. Aside from a 7-3 loss to Jeannette in the WPIAL final, the Centurions are 5-0 and have not given up more than two runs in any of those wins. Neal McDermott pitched a complete game against Juniata Valley and Antonio Cavallo hurled six strong innings against Oswayo Valley. Cavallo also had three RBIs in the quarterfinal win. On the season, he's batting .417 with a team-best 31 RBIs.
Player to watch: Neal McDermott. A Seton Hill recruit, McDermott has been a star both offensively and on the mound. The team's pitching ace, McDermott is 6-0 with a 0.29 ERA and has struck out 75 in 47 ⅔ innings. He is batting .435 with 21 RBIs and 22 runs scored.

Clarion Bobcats
Record: 20-3
District finish: District 9 runner-up
How they got here: (First round) Berlin-Brothersvalley, 4-3; (Quarterfinals) Elk County Catholic, 3-0.
What you should know: Clarion is the District 9 runner-up, having lost to Oswayo Valley in the district championship. The Bobcats followed up that loss with narrow wins against District 5 runner-up Berlin-Brothersvalley and District 9 third-place finisher Elk County Catholic. Two of the team's top players share the same street address. Senior twins Reed and Ryan Anthony are having excellent seasons. The two combined for three RBIs in the first-round win and Reed Anthony fired a three-hit shutout in the quarterfinal triumph. Anthony has pitched 18 ⅓ innings in the Bobcats' last three games. Ryan Anthony is batting .333 and is 3-0 with a 1.28 ERA.
Player to watch: Reed Anthony. Clarion has won 20 games this season. Anthony has accounted for more than half of those wins. A left-hander, Anthony is 11-1 with a 0.44 ERA. He has 69 strikeouts in 64 ⅓ innings. At the plate, Anthony is only batting .242, but has 18 RBIs and has scored 16 runs.