The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published May 15, 2013

Raider baseball chasing third WPIAL crown

Derek Pyda
Butler Eagle

JACKSON TWP — While some teams may shy away from high expectations, Seneca Valley’s baseball program embraces them.

The Raiders (16-3) won their third straight section championship this spring and will now turn their focus toward claiming a third consecutive WPIAL Class AAAA crown.
Receiving a first-round bye, SV will face Bethel Park, a 6-3 winner over Franklin Regional, at 4:30 p.m. today at Shaler.
Since the beginning of the 2011 season, the Raiders are 52-12-1 overall and 29-5 in section play. They were a perfect 10-0 in section games this season.
“Kids entering the varsity program obviously know that there are expectations,” said Raider coach Eric Semega. “Success breeds that. Every group of players wants to leave their mark and they don’t want to let down the people who were here before. There’s a standard they want to reach.”
Senior centerfielder Jonathan Dorogy has been the leadoff hitter for all three section title teams.
“We expect to win every time we take the field,” he said. “It’s great to be a Seneca Valley baseball player.”
While the team’s goals are clear, they are not often the topic of conversation while in school or even in the dugout.
“We don’t talk about it much,” said junior pitcher/outfielder Connor Coward. “We understand what we can do and the opportunity that is in front of us. Three straight WPIAL titles would be something special.”
The Raiders began this season with losses to Pine-Richland (14-11) and Moon (7-0), but Semega was not concerned.
“Being non-section games, we were trying to figure out who was going to be there for us in games we needed to win to make the playoffs,” he said.
But injuries get the attention of any coach. Starting pitcher Zach Spangler sustained an ankle injury while playing basketball in December and is just now rounding into form. Designated hitter Brad Gresock (concussion) and shortstop Sam Fragale (ankle) both missed games during the regular season.