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Butler baseball No. 6 in the East Region


North Allegheny likely took more than a section win from Butler’s baseball team.

The Golden Tornado was listed No. 6 in the East Region by the USA Today in the rankings released Wednesday — the only WPIAL team included in the 10-team list — not long before the Golden Tornado lost to North Allegheny, 3-1, in a key Section 1-AAAA game under the lights in McCandless.

See the USA Today rankings.

Cody Gaettner and Rob Sittig had seventh-inning RBIs for North Allegheny in that game. Butler (7-2) could drop when the new rankings are released next week. Might North Allegheny (8-1) take its place? That could add a little fire for when the two meet again April 29 at Butler.


Hopewell’s baseball hasn’t lost a regular-season game since April 2, 2009. Since then, the Vikings have won 27 consecutive. That streak could be tested at 3:45 p.m., Friday, when Class AAA No. 1 Hopewell (12-0) travels to face No. 4 Montour (6-0) in Section 3.

But there are a couple other games that bring together ranked teams:

Also in Class AAA, No. 2 Laurel Highland (6-1) will travel to No. 3 Greensburg Salem (5-2) for a 4 p.m. game that could match standout pitchers Ethan Mildren and Nate Sphon.

In Class AAAA, No. 5 Peters Township (3-1) will visit No. 4 Baldwin (6-1) at 4:15 p.m.


As expected, New Castle has hired Ralph Blundo as boys basketball coach. Blundo, an assistant principal in the school district, replaces Mark Stanley, who resigned in March after three seasons with a 31-37 record.

To hire Blundo, the school board had to rescind a regulation it enacted in 2007 that prohibited administrators from coaching. The rule was created after longtime coach John Sarandrea left the district to become superintendent in Sharon.

Blundo, a New Castle graduate, had a one-year stint as head coach at George Junior Republic in 1999.

— Chris Harlan (

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