Conference Preview: WPIAL Class AAAA - Section 3

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

With the start of the high school season less than a month away we will be previewing conferences around the state leading up to opening day. In addition to a look at the top teams we will also highlight some of the top prospects in each conference.

           WPIAL Class AAAA - Section 3

Preseason Favorites

Central Catholic (17-5), Franklin Regional (18-4), Plum (13-6)

Section 3 appears to be a three horse race. Central Catholic lost the most of the three teams likely to battle for the section crown, but return a solid nucleus of their every day lineup and three of their top arms. Franklin Regional returns nearly their entire lineup that produced 18 wins a year ago. Plum has a deep core of returning starters, but must replace the ace of their pitching staff Zac Manuppelli (USC-Upstate). 

If last year's race to the section crown was any indication of what is in store this year, the Section 3 season will be awesome to watch. It will be difficult however to top last year's Franklin Regional 17-16 win over Central Catholic in nine innings.


Luca FarinaPreseason Player of the Year

Luca Farina, Central Catholic (Class of 2014)

Farina is a 6-foot-1, 215-pound switch-hitter that has shown power from both sides of the plate and the ability to run (7.10 60-yard dash). The William & Mary commit also sits in the mid-80s off the mound and will likely log considerable innings for the Vikings this season. Farina led a potent Vikings' offense in 2013 with a .453 average.


Top Prospects


Alex Pantuso, RHP/1B (Class of 2014, Slippery Rock commit)
Tom McCarthy, SS/2B (Class of 2014, Seton Hill recruit)
Zach Murray, C/RHP (Class of 2014)
Christian Hirt, SS/2B (Class of 2014, Slippery Rock recruit)

central catholic

Luca Farina, OF/RHP (Class of 2014, William & Mary commit)
Josh Pittman, SS/2B (Class of 2014)
Alex Baretta, OF (Class of 2014)
Grant Gustic, RHP (Class of 2014)
Domenic Derenzo, C/OF (Class of 2015)
Joel Shaffer, RHP/SS (Class of 2015)
Patrick Ferguson, C/3B (Class of 2016)

Franklin regional

Brandon Nania, C/3B (Class of 2014, West Virginia commit)
Brett Myers, RHP/1B (Class of 2014)
Colin Jonov, OF/2B (Class of 2014)
John Bondi, 2B/SS (Class of 2015)
Justin Johnson, LHP/1B (Class of 2015)
Alex Gessinger, RHP/OF (Class of 2015)
Luciano Besh, LHP/OF (Class of 2016)


Jacob Haberle, 1B/RHP (Class of 2016)
Mitchum Donatelli, 2B/OF (Class of 2016)


Zach Craven, 1B, (Class of 2014, Harford CC commit)


Nick Stotler, OF/SS (Class of 2014, Coker recruit)
Mike Maleski, 2B (Class of 2014)
Will Kirkpatrick, OF/1B (Class of 2014)
Brian Albert, RHP/SSB (Class of 2015)
Alex Kirilloff, 1B/LHP (Class of 2016)


view all conference previews & preseason players of the year by conference

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