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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.

"When they were freshman, we could kind of see it," Dzurenda said. "All of those guys are baseball-only guys. They play baseball the whole year and that's their focus. They have more experience than traditional Double-A players. All leaders. Great kids. Big kids. All 6-foot or bigger. Kind of intimidating a little bit, too. We look like a college team."