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Baseball: West Mifflin has inside track to a section title

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles the West Mifflin baseball team.

2014 0424 WestMifflin Baseball(Photo: Belle Vernon's Cody Menges slides safely into second under the glove of West Mifflin's Todd Sekowski during Titans' 2-1 victory last week at West Mifflin. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)

"Jeff Smith is in his first year as head coach of the West Mifflin baseball team, but don't act surprised about the quick success the Titans have endured under his watch.

Although this may be his rookie season as head coach, that doesn't necessarily make Smith new to the program.

"I have been in the program for 10 years," Smith said. "I was given a nice team. They are very experienced. I was the JV coach for the past 10 years. I have been in the program and know the kids well."

Smith has taken over the reins of a Titans team that finished fifth in Class AAA Section 4 last year under Jeff Kuzma and hasn't made the WPIAL playoffs since 2009, but all of that looks like it is about to change."

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Baseball: Dynamite pitching the calling card for red-hot West Mifflin

Written by Brad Everett on .

No team seems to be able to slow down West Mifflin these days.

A big reason for that has been a pitching staff that has stifled opposing hitters all season.

West Mifflin, guided by first-year coach Jeff Smith, is having one of its best seasons in at least two decades. The Titans had won four straight and six of seven heading into Monday's non-section game against Steel Valley. The Titans were 9-2 overall and 6-1 in Class AAA Section 4.

The Titans have been just fine offensively, but it's on the mound where the Titans have truly stood out. The Titans have given up a combined 10 runs in their nine wins and have surrendered only 20 all season. They've shut out two opponents and have held six others to just one run.

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Track: West Mifflin's Wheeler expected back this week

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

 

West Mifflin’s Jimmy Wheeler, who has missed the last two weeks, is expected back this week according to Titans coach Mike Mazzarese.

Wheeler was injured in a meet in early April against Chartiers Valley. Mazzarese said the injury, as well as other undisclosed reasons, have kept Wheeler off the track for the past couple of weeks.

Wheeler, who led all WPIAL football players in the fall with 2,616 yards and 37 touchdowns, finished sixth in 2013 in the 100 meters.

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Track: South Feature Athlete — West Mifflin’s Kevin Garbark

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Name: Kevin Garbark
School: West Mifflin
Grade: 11
Sport: Track and Field

Background: Garbark won the 100 and 200 at the Butler Invitational last Friday. The previous week, Garbark won the 200 and placed second to Mt. Lebanon’s Troy Apke in the 100 at the Tri-State Track and Field Coaches Association Championships at West Mifflin. Last season, Garbark finished seventh in the 100 and 11th in the 200 at the WPIAL Class AAA championships. He also plays football for the Titans

West Mifflin coach Mike Mazzarese: “I’ve been very pleased with him so far this season. Whatever I need him to run, he does it. I told him before our meet against McGuffey he was going to run the 400, and he went out and won it.”

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Baseball: South Feature Athlete - A.J. Olasz, West Mifflin

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: A.J. Olasz
School: West Mifflin
Grade: 12
Sport: Baseball
Position: Pitcher

Background Info: Olasz, a senior left-hander, tossed a no-hitter with seven strikeouts and just one walk in leading West Mifflin to a 12-0, five-inning win against defending WPIAL Class AAA champion South Park last Wednesday. With the win, Olasz improved to 3-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to a miniscule 0.38. Olasz has struck out 32 in 18 innings. Heading into yesterday's game against Thomas Jefferson, West Mifflin (5-2 overall, 3-1 in Section 4) was tied atop the section standings with South Park and Thomas Jefferson. The Titans are the Post-Gazette's No. 2 ranked team in Class AAA.