Mars’ Will Bednar switches commitment to play baseball at Mississippi State
By: Don Rebel
Monday, September 17, 2018 | 6:09 PM
It is only appropriate that the star pitcher for Mars will be representing the Bulldogs in college because that is what many feel he is when he’s dealing on the mound.
Senior Will Bednar, one of the top baseball players in the WPIAL, has changed his mind about going to Ohio State to pitch next year and will now head south to play at Mississippi State.
“I feel like I didn’t explore all the options I had,” said Bednar, a right-handed pitcher. “I think I might have rushed into it a bit.”
Bednar’s coach at Mars is in full support of his star player’s decision. That’s because coach Andy Bednar is also Will’s father. The family fell in love with Mississippi on their recent visit.
“I really did not know what to expect when we went on our visit two weeks ago,” Coach Bednar said. “You hear about the longstanding tradition of their baseball program, but you really can’t appreciate until you get down there and visit. The campus is beautiful. The athletic facilities are top notch. The following they get for baseball is incredible. They average over 8,000 people per game. I believe they are in the top five in the country.”
Will knew he found his new home when there.
“I think everything about it was great,” he said. “Obviously, the history of the program speaks for itself. I think the coaches all have a lot of experience under their belts.”
So what role did Andy Bednar play in the entire recruiting process?
“I would like to think that my wife Sue and I provided guidance as to where would be the best opportunity for him, but inevitably this was Will’s decision,” he said.
Bednar was lights out this past spring. With a fastball that has been clocked in the mid-90’s, he was 8-0 with a 0.64 ERA. He allowed 39 hits with 11 walks and 120 strikeouts in 66 innings in leading the Fightin’ Planets to the WPIAL Class 5A championship game, where they lost a 3-2 thriller to North Hills in 11 innings.
Mars finished 2017 with a record of 16-7 after losing in the PIAA quarterfinals. The Planets will be one of the top teams in 2018, with Bednar, although coach/dad feels his son still has some things to work on before heading south next summer.
“I think he needs to continue to work on his overall conditioning and secondary pitches,” he said. “He needs to continue to work at getting physically stronger and more athletic. As for his secondary pitches, he worked really hard on his slider toward the end of last summer and made some great strides.”
Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @TheDonRebel.