Monday will feature pair of PIAA state semifinal baseball games at York's PeoplesBank Park

STEVE HEISER
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Red Land's Cole Wagner is seen here taking a throw at first base in a PIAA Class 5-A first-round baseball game vs. Marple Newtown. Wagner and the Patriots will face Manheim Central on Monday evening at PeoplesBank Park in York in a state 5-A semifinal.

Monday will be a big day of high school baseball action in downtown York.

PeoplesBank Park, the home of the York Revolution, will play host to a pair of PIAA state semifinal contests.

At 4 p.m., Class 6-A contenders Spring-Ford and District 7 champion North Allegheny will battle. Spring-Ford is the fifth-place team from District 1.

Then, at approximately 7 p.m., in a game of local interest, Red Land will face Manheim Central in a 5-A semifinal battle featuring a pair of teams from District 3. Red Land is from northern York County, while Manheim Central is from Lancaster County.

Gates will open at 3:30 p.m. Free parking is available in the ballpark’s Queen Street or Brooks Robinson Drive parking lots as well as at Small Field. All tickets must be purchased in advance at the PIAA website. No tickets will be sold at the gate.

“This is exactly the kind of thing our ballpark was created for,” said York Revolution General Manager John Gibson in a news release. “We are much more than just pro baseball games. PeoplesBank Park was created to be a place for all kinds of events and celebrations, and we are excited to use this great resource to shine a professional-caliber spotlight on more of our state’s talented high school athletes.”

The Patriots (24-4) won the District 3 crown, while Manheim Central (25-2) finished fifth in the district. The Barons had been the No. 1 seed in the district field before getting upset in the district quarterfinals by Muhlenberg. Manheim Central then battled back through consolation action to earn a state berth.

Red Land and Manheim Central did not meet previously this season.

The Patriots are trying to win another state title. They won the 2019 PIAA 5-A state crown. The 2020 high school baseball season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. Red Land also won a state crown in 1990.

The Patriots are coming off a 5-0 state quarterfinal over District 12 champion Archbishop Wood, when Kaden Peifer threw a no-hitter. Manheim Central is coming off an 8-1 victory over District 2 champion Abington Heights.

Red Land features a pair of NCAA Division I recruits in Benny Montgomery (Virginia) and Cole Wagner (Georgia).

The winners of Monday's semifinals will advance to the state championship games set for Medlar Field at Lubrano Park at Penn State. The 6-A state final is 4:30 p.m. Friday. The 5-A state championship game is 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

In 5-A, Monday's other state semifinal pits District 7 runner-up Bethel Park vs. District 6 champion Central Mountain. The other 6-A semifinal has District 12 champion La Salle College against North Penn, the third-place team from District 1.

According to the latest state baseball rankings from Trib HSSN, Red Land is ranked No. 1 in the state in 5-A, followed by Central Mountain (18-5), Manheim Central and Bethel Park (20-4). In 6-A, the top four are La Salle (24-2), North Allegheny (22-3), Spring-Ford (18-2) and North Penn (17-6). 

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.