Baseball: Serra Catholic's offense dominating opponents

Written by Sarah Spencer on .

Sarah Spencer profiles the Serra Catholic baseball team.

2017 0512 SerraCatholic Baseball(Photo: Ben Visnesky has been a leading hitter for Serra Catholic, batting .600 to top a list of eight teammates batting at least .400. Michael Henninger)

"There's starting out strong, then there's scoring 62 runs the first three games of the season.

After the Eagles' opening tournament in Alabama, Serra Catholic baseball player couldn't deny their showing on offense.

"A ton of us started realizing that a lot of our team was hitting the cover off the ball," junior Ben Bowen said. "It just gave a lot of confidence to everyone else to keep working hard and gave a lot of confidence to our pitchers, too, to throw strikes and we'll be in the game, no matter what happens."

Through its 13-0 win against Brentwood Monday, which avenged its only loss of the season, Serra Catholic has scored 10 or more runs in all but three of its 18 games this season."


Baseball: Serra Catholic wraps up outright section title

Written by Brad Everett on .

If the Serra Catholic Eagles were any superhero Monday, they would have been The Avengers.

After all, they avenged their only section loss of the season and clinched the outright section title.

Only Brentwood had defeated Serra in Class 2A Section 3 play. The Spartans defeated Serra, 5-1, on April 25. However, Serra got some payback Monday by using a four-run first inning to roll to a 13-0 win against the visiting Spartans. Both teams are ranked in 2A: Brentwood is ranked No. 2. and Serra Catholic is No. 3.

With the win, Serra -- last year's WPIAL Class 1A champion -- claimed the section title all to itself. The Eagles (17-1 overall) finished 13-1, while Brentwood (12-2) fell to 11-2. Brentwood hosts Carlynton in its section finale today. The Spartans suffered their only other section loss to Carlynton, 3-2, on April 19.


Baseball: South Feature Athlete - Serra Catholic’s Ben Visnesky

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Ben Visnesky
School: Serra Catholic
Grade: 11
Sport: Baseball
Position: Pitcher/First baseman

Background: Visnesky has been a mainstay in the Serra Catholic lineup since his freshman season. He's had a lot of success and has played in some big games - he was Serra's starting pitcher in last year's WPIAL Class 1A championship game. Visnesky has been outstanding again this season. He's 4-0 on the mound with a 1.31 ERA and has 30 strikeouts compared to just one walk. At the plate, Visnesky is hitting .542 with 17 runs scored and 13 RBIs. Serra, the WPIAL 1A champion a year ago, is 11-0 overall and 7-0 in 2A Section 1. The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in 2A.


Baseball: Serra’s junior class one of the WPIAL’s best

Written by Brad Everett on .

Serra Catholic won a WPIAL championship last season and has not lost a game this season.

What's scary is that many of the key players that have led the Eagles to that success are only juniors.

It's been a case of junior achievement at Serra, which boasts one of the best 11th-grade classes in the entire WPIAL. The four stars of that class can hit the ball, but it's their work on the mound that has made them shine so brightly this season. Ben Visnesky, Nate Piontka and twins Zach and Ben Bowen have made short work of opposing hitters. Those four right-handers, along with senior left-hander Arthur Palandro, have held WPIAL opponents to just three runs in eight games. All but two of those games were shutouts. For the season, Serra's team ERA is under 2.00, opponents are batting just .120 against them, and the Eagles have 80 strikeouts compared to just 16 walks.

Serra coach Brian Dzurenda spoke glowingly of that junior class, which has led the Eagles to an 11-0 overall record and 7-0 record in Class 2A Section 3.


Baseball: Serra Catholic living up to the hype

Written by Brad Everett on .

With a bevy of players returning from a team that won a WPIAL title last season, expectations were high for Serra Catholic this spring.

So far, the Eagles have lived up to the hype.

Seven up, seven down for Serra, which improved to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in Class 2A Section after a 14-2 win at Sto-Rox on Monday. The Eagles are the Post-Gazette's No. 1 ranked team in 2A.

Serra hasn't just been winning games. The Eagles have been dominating them. Five of their wins have been by double digits and the other by scores of 5-1 and 6-0. In last week's 6-0 win against Bishop Canevin, Nate Piontka pitched a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts and also drove in a run.