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Baseball: Minor League Update - Kevan Smith (Seneca Valley)

Written by John Perrotto on .

(Over the next two weeks, Sports Town will feature updates on WPIAL baseball players who are currently playing in the major or minor leagues. The posts were compiled by veteran baseball writer John Perrotto. We will feature two players every day.)

KevanSmith
Getting a small taste of the major league life gave Kevan Smith motivation for the 2014 season.

The Chicago White Sox's catching prospect, Seneca Valley High School graduate and former Pitt quarterback had the chance to play in a major league exhibition game last year during spring training.

After the game, White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn invited Smith to come to Chicago in September to see a game at U.S. Cellular Field after the minor league season ended.

"It made me want to get to the big league more than ever," Smith said in spring training.

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Baseball: Minor League Update - Kyle Helisek (Seneca Valley)

Written by John Perrotto on .

(Over the next two weeks, Sports Town will feature updates on WPIAL baseball players who are currently playing in the major or minor leagues. The posts were compiled by veteran baseball writer John Perrotto. We will feature two players every day.)

KyleHelisek
The St. Louis Cardinals have had an extraordinary amount of success when it comes to developing late-round draft picks into major league players in recent years. Perhaps Kyle Helisek will be another one in the next few years.

The right-handed pitcher and Seneca Valley High School graduate is having a fine season with Palm Beach in the high Class A Florida State League. He has gone 4-3 with 3.22 ERA in 13 starts.

Helisek, 24, also pitched an inning in the Florida State League All-Star Game earlier this month. Not bad for a guy picked in the 30th round by the Cardinals in the 2012 draft after playing collegiately at Villanova.

"I feel very comfortable right now, I'm being aggressive and trying to throw strikes," Helisek said.

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Baseball: Minor League Update - Cory Mazzoni (Seneca Valley)

Written by John Perrotto on .

(Over the next two weeks, Sports Town will feature updates on WPIAL baseball players who are currently playing in the major or minor leagues. The posts were compiled by veteran baseball writer John Perrotto. We will feature two players every day.)

CoryMazzoni
Cory Mazzoni's season finally got underway last Saturday, nearly three months later and at a lower level than planned.

The right-handed pitcher and Seneca Valley High School graduate made his 2014 debut with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Mets, giving up two runs in four innings against the GCL National while taking the loss.

New York had Mazzoni ticketed for Class AAA Las Vegas until he suffered a strained lat muscle behind his right shoulder on the last day of spring training while pitching for the major league club. The Mets called Mazzoni up from minor league camp in order to rest their pitchers for the season opener and also to get a look at one of their top prospects.

Mazzoni, 24, was ranked as the Mets' No. 16 prospect at the end of last season by Baseball America. He was also No. 13 in 2011 and No. 10 in 2012. New York drafted Mazzoni in the second round in 2011 from North Carolina State and signed him for $437,500.

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Baseball: Minor League Update - Zach Jackson (Seneca Valley)

Written by John Perrotto on .

(Over the next two weeks, Sports Town will feature updates on WPIAL baseball players who are currently playing in the major or minor leagues. The posts were compiled by veteran baseball writer John Perrotto. We will feature two players every day.)

Jackson
A little more than 10 years have passed since Zach Jackson was a supplemental first-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays. The left-hander is still at it, though he hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2009.

Jackson, a Seneca Valley graduate, is working in relief for the Washington Nationals' Class AAA Syracuse farm club in the Internationals League this season. It has been a struggle for the 31-year-old as he is 2-3 with a 6.11 ERA in 20 appearances.

The personable Jackson singed with the Nationals as a minor league free agent in January and this is his sixth organization. He started his career 10 years ago when the Blue Jays gave him a $1,017,500 bonus to sign from Texas A&M.

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Baseball: Seneca Valley's historic streak halted in PIAA semifinals

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Ryan Riordan profiles the Seneca Valley baseball team.

"Seneca Valley's baseball team needed a win against Fox Chapel in its final section game of the season just to reach the postseason.

But the Raiders, who reached the WPIAL final in each of the previous three seasons, still believed they could make a playoff run.

They were right.

Seneca Valley became the first team to win the WPIAL baseball title with a losing record, and then reached the PIAA Class AAAA semifinals before falling to Conestoga, 3-2, Monday."