Archbishop Carroll, Bensalem, Council Rock North, La Salle and Marple Newtown are scheduled to play in PIAA state semifinal baseball games on Monday. The victors will advance to the finals at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Here is a look at the semifinals:
La Salle (23-3) vs. Bensalem (22-3), at Neumann University, 4 p.m.
A must-see pitching duel is expected, with Explorers southpaw Joe Miller likely to counter Owls righthander Stephen Aldrich.
Miller, who is headed to Penn, is 11-0 with 56 strikeouts in 54 innings. The Monmouth-bound Aldrich is 9-1 with 89 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings.
La Salle is sparked on offense by catcher Andrew Cossetti, a St. Joseph’s recruit, outfielder Anthony Cossetti (Navy), shortstop Eric Marasheski (Princeton), and first baseman Brian Schaub (Richmond).
Bensalem’s top hitters are Aldrich, who also plays second base, second baseman/pitcher Nick Dean (Maryland), centerfielder Keith Parrish and shortstop Brian Swentkowski.
The Explorers are seeking their first state crown since 2014 and third overall.
Council Rock North (19-7) vs. Canon-McMillan (19-5), at Greene Township Park in Scotland, 4:30 p.m.
Council Rock North gained its first berth in the state semifinals with a 10-1 romp over District 3 titlist Cumberland Valley.
Senior lefthander and Princeton recruit Eric Hoefer will get the start against District 7 champ Canon-McMillan.
The Indians are led at the plate by shortstop and leadoff man Cavan Tully (Binghamton), outfielder/designated hitter Matt Shenot, first baseman Jason Walter, and rightfielder/pitcher Ryan Stalker.
“The guys have figured out how to rely on each other, work together and play as a team,” Council Rock North coach Matt Schram said.
Canon-McMillan has a pair of solid righthanded pitchers in senior Zach Rohaley, Monday’s probable starter, and junior Cam Weston. Weston is a Michigan recruit whose fastball has been clocked at 90 mph.
Marple Newtown (23-2) vs. West Allegheny (17-2), at Greene Township Park in Scotland, 2 p.m.
Marple Newtown has reached the state semifinals for the second time in three seasons.
Junior southpaw Alden Mathes (2-1 record) is slated to start for the Tigers against West Allegheny. Senior righthander Sean Standen (5-0) is available in relief.
West Allegheny, District 7’s third-place qualifier, has one of the state’s best players in sophomore outfielder/pitcher Austin Hendrick. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound lefthander has committed to Mississippi State.
The Indians average 8.9 runs per game.
“We know they’re going to score some runs, so we’re going to have to hit to keep up with them,” Marple Newtown coach Mark Jordan said.
The Tigers’ offensive spark plugs include Mathes, first baseman/ace pitcher Luke Zimmerman, catcher Luke Cantwell, and shortstop Kevin Merrone.
Archbishop Carroll (20-5) vs. Lower Dauphin (22-3), at Ephrata, 6:30 p.m.
Carroll has rebounded nicely after losing to La Salle, 10-0, in five innings in the Catholic League final.
Ace southpaw Jake Kelchner is expected to start against Lower Dauphin, which placed third in District 3 and ousted West Chester Henderson, 7-2, in a state opener. The Alabama recruit, also an outfielder, is 7-1 with a 1.82 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings.
Lower Dauphin is led at the plate by catcher Tommy Bramley, second baseman Josh Saufley and centerfielder Clay Spencer. Bramley was batting .557 with 34 RBIs and four home runs prior to the Falcons’ 1-0 quarterfinal win over North Pocono.
Carroll’s offensive headliners are Kelchner (.373 batting average, 15 RBIs, 15 runs), catcher Cole Chesnet (.397, 28, 22), and centerfielder and lefty pitcher Tyler “Bugs” Kehoe (.349, 25, 25).