Coach steps down after another playoff appearance for Quaker Valley baseball

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Sunday, June 12, 2022 | 9:01 AM


The big news circulating out of the Quaker Valley baseball program is that veteran coach Dean Owrey has resigned.

Owrey was hired in 2018 and served as the Quakers’ field boss for four seasons, including the pandemic-marred 2020 campaign. He led QV to three WPIAL playoff appearances and posted a 29-29 overall record.

“I appreciated the opportunity to serve the baseball players at Quaker Valley and care about them deeply,” Owrey said. “They are solid young men.”

Quaker Valley advanced to the WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinal round in each of the past two seasons.

The Quakers have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs eight times in the past nine seasons that have been played, posting six winning records in eight years. QV was a section titlist from 2013-16.

This year, the Quakers defeated Highlands, 7-1, in the first round before losing section rival Montour, 11-2, in the quarterfinals.

“We had a great season in a very competitive section, capped off with a convincing first-round playoff win over a very good Highlands team,” said Mike Mastroianni, QV’s athletic director. “We had strong senior leadership with a number of four-year players in our program and we leaned on their experience.

“We had a strong offensive team and a balanced pitching staff. The combination of both of these strengths kept us in games.”

It was the third win for Montour against Quaker Valley this season. The Spartans went on to advance to a WPIAL championship-game appearance against West Mifflin at Wild Things Park.

Quaker Valley (9-10, 6-6) finished third in Section 2 behind Montour (12-0) and Beaver (10-2).

“Although there are many strong sections up and down the WPIAL, I believe Section 4A is among the most difficult of any,” Owrey said earlier this season. “Few sections can claim producing the perennial WPIAL and state championship winner or runner-up.

“Everyone recognizes the strong brand of certain teams from their past success, but people shouldn’t be surprised when teams in this section beat up on each other.”

QV’s returning starters in 2022 included seniors Ethan Faris (SS), Tommaso Floro (3B), Jack Gardinier (CF), Andrew Glas (P/utility), Declan Haas (P), Zeke Hendricks (C) and Adam Tanabe (P/OF); and juniors Danny Bartels (1B/OF), Jackson Bould (P/1B), Hunter Doherty (2B), Garrett Rader (OF) and Jimmy Zugai (C/OF).

One of the major strengths of the team was its middle defense, starting with Hendricks at catcher, anchored by Faris at shortstop and with Doherty at second base, supported by Gardiner in center field.

Gardinier homered and drove in three runs and Zugai homered and drove in a pair to lead QV to a 10-7 section victory against Ambridge on May 9, which clinched a WPIAL playoff berth.

Bould and Hendricks knocked in two runs apiece for the Quakers, who came back from a 7-2 deficit with a seven-run fourth inning.

Gardinier, who hit .312 in the regular season with 12 RBIs and 16 runs scored, and Bartels were starters on the QV boys WPIAL championship and PIAA runner-up basketball team this year.

A 6-foot guard, Gardinier plans to continue his hoops career at Susquehanna. He has a 3.75 GPA.

Floro was an offensive catalyst for the QV baseball team during the regular season, leading the squad in batting average (.444), on-base percentage (.492), slugging percentage (.777), hits (24), RBIs (16) and home runs (4).

Doherty ranked second in hitting with a .340 batting average followed by Hendricks at .339.

Doherty also had a .540 slugging percentage, seven doubles and 17 total hits, while Hendricks logged a .424 on-base percentage and accounted for 20 hits, two home runs and 13 RBIs.

Some other top individual stats were attained by Zugai with four home runs, a .609 slugging percentage, 11 runs scored and 12 RBIs; Tanabe, who had a .333 batting average and .489 on-base percentage; and Faris, with a team-leading 19 runs scored along with 15 total hits.

The pitching staff was anchored by Hendricks, Bould, Tanabe and Glas and Haas.

Hendricks posted a 3-1 record with 14 strikeouts in 23.1 innings of work. Bould was 2-2 with 20 Ks in 22.2 innings. Tanabe tossed 19.2 innings, striking out 15, while Glas pitched in 19.1 innings. Haas fanned 14 in 12.1 innings.

Quaker Valley was a senior-oriented club in 2022 with nine seniors sprinkled across the roster: Faris, Floro, Gardinier, Michael Giles, Glas, Haas, Hendricks, Gordon Merriman and Tanabe.

“Replacing our nine seniors who gave us great leadership and had game experience is always difficult,” Mastroianni said. “But we’re confident our returning players will be ready for the challenge.

“We have a good young core group, and they are excited for their opportunity (next season).”

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