Grateful for the opportunity, Kiski Area’s Derek Hald taking advantage of summer baseball

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020 | 6:09 PM


Kiski Area catcher Derek Hald is making up for lost time.

After the coronavirus pandemic canceled his junior season, one in which he thought would increase his recruiting profile, Hald didn’t think he would get to play a lot of baseball this summer. But, as the summer inches to a close, it has been the complete opposite for the Cavaliers backstop. He has actually gotten to play more baseball than he expected.

When the American Legion season was canceled, the Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball league was formed and Hald was able to jump on the Kiski Area team. Then, he also joined the Steeltown Maulers baseball team and has played in a few tournaments with them.

“My summer has been jam-packed with baseball, and I’m loving it because we didn’t get to play spring season,” Hald said. “So, it’s kind of making up for lost time. It’s giving me the opportunity to get video to send to college coaches and improve my game so that next year, for my senior year, we can make a little playoff run.”

The 5-foot-10 rising senior was hoping to boost his recruiting profile by visiting multiple prospect camps to get in front of college coaches this summer. So far through his recruitment, he has picked up an offer from Saint Vincent, but he’s expecting more to come as he has been talking with multiple coaches.

He got a good opportunity this past week to increase his recruiting profile when he participated in the Pa. Prospect Games in Dubois.

“It’s always a good experience when you can compare yourself to kids from all over the area and kind of see where you are,” Hald said. “It’s always good not being around the same people all the time, no knock on my Kiski guys, but it’s nice not always seeing the same faces and get a good comparison on where your game is and where you need to improve.”

When he was in Dubois, Hald said they ran through multiple drills to showcase different attributes. He said they ran a 60-yard dash, went through batting practice on the field and with tee stations on the side, and finally, they played a 14-inning simulated game.

“I think I did really well, and I feel like with every prospect showcase I go to, I feel like I get a little better,” Hald said. “They are a different animal because there is a certain strategy going into them that you have to have. So, as you do more of them, you get better at them and I think that was my best one yet.”

Hald isn’t done yet trying to get in front of college coaches. He’s also attending a Showball Baseball Showcase on Aug. 6-7 in Aberdeen, Md. at the Cal Ripken Jr. complex.

This summer has also allowed Hald to work on his game. Not having a high school season took away a lot of development time from the talented catcher, who hit .290 as a sophomore. So, he’s grateful for the opportunity to still work on his game during a tough time.

“I honestly didn’t think we’d have much of a summer season, and this is way more than what I expected,” Hald said. “I’m so grateful that we’re able to have it. Because of covid, you see things in a different perspective and you never want to take things for granted anymore. So, being able to play this much baseball is amazing, especially with the current situation were in.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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