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Baseball: Steel Valley keeps hopes of a repeat alive with wild win

Written by Brad Everett on .

Three outs away from seeing its season end, Steel Valley needed to mount a huge comeback to keep its postseason going.

Eight runs later, the Ironmen had somehow punched their ticket to the WPIAL Class AA semifinals.

Steel Valley rallied from four runs down after six innings to topple second-seeded Brownsville, 8-4, in a quarterfinal Monday at Washington & Jefferson.

With the win, the defending champion Ironmen kept their hopes of a title repeat alive. The No. 10-seeded Ironmen (11-5) will try to take the next step when they face the Neshannock-Shady Side Academy winner Wednesday at Washington & Jefferson at 4 p.m. Neshannock (13-5), the No. 3 seed, and Shady Side Academy (13-5), the No. 6 seed, meet in a quarterfinal today at Chippewa Park.

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Baseball: Steel Valley rebounds after slow start

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

John D'Abruzzo profiles the Steel Valley baseball team.

2015 0508 SteelValley Baseball(Photo: Brandon Donovan has led Steel Valley back to the WPIAL playoffs with his arm and bat. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"Rebuilding wasn't a term anyone around Steel Valley's varsity baseball program wanted to use this spring.

Just months after winning the WPIAL Class AA championship, however, the Ironmen were looking at a lot of underclassmen to lead the way after graduating the bulk of last year's starting lineup.

"It's so strange how you can get used to winning," said Tim Vickers, who is in his ninth season coaching Steel Valley and entered this week one victory away from his 100th coaching win. "After handing out medals and championship rings, rebuilding is almost like a swear word around here."

Despite losing three of their first five games, the Ironmen (8-5, 7-3) avenged those early-season defeats and went on to win six of their next seven games en route to securing another WPIAL playoff berth."

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Softball: Steel Valley enters playoffs on high note

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Sometimes third-place teams in sections "back-pedal" into the playoffs. Sometimes they get in by virtue of another team losing or by a tiebreaker. Steel Valley is headed to the playoffs and no one will accuse the Ironmen of backing their way in. Steel Valley (7-4, 7-4) is currently in third place in Section 4-AA. It will finish either third or in a tie for second depending on South Park (7-3, 7-3). Seton-LaSalle (10-0, 10-0) has claimed the outright section title. There was a chance that Steel Valley would still make the playoffs regardless of their game against South Allegheny. But Steel Valley would leave nothing to chance. Trailing 9-8 entering the bottom of the tenth inning, Maddie Cotter delivered with a two-run, walk-off double to give the Ironmen a dramatic 10-9 triumph against the Gladiators (5-6, 5-5).

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Baseball: South Feature Athlete - Steel Valley's Brandon Donovan

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Brandon Donovan
School: Steel Valley
Grade: 12
Sport: Baseball
Position: Pitcher

Background: Donovan, a senior right-hander, picked up the win on the mound after striking out 19 in eight innings to help Steel Valley earn a 2-1 win against Class AA No. 1 Seton-LaSalle last Wednesday. Donovan also had three hits. Teammate Alex Ligeros made sure the Ironmen didn't waste Donovan's exceptional outing by hitting an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to give the Ironmen the victory. It was a rematch of last year's WPIAL Class AA championship, also won by Steel Valley. Donovan, a Radford recruit, is one of the top players in the WPIAL. As a junior, Donovan went 7-0 with a 1.50 ERA, while batting .478 with 37 RBIs. Steel Valley is 2-3 overall and 1-2 in Section 4.