Mt. Lebanon senior David Shields named Gatorade Pa. Baseball Player of the Year

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Tuesday, June 4, 2024 | 12:40 AM


Mt. Lebanon senior David Shields, a talented left-handed pitcher and outfielder, was named Monday as the Gatorade Pennsylvania Baseball Player of the Year.

Shields is the first WPIAL player to win the award since Latrobe’s Zach Kokoska and Plum’s Alex Kirilloff won in consecutive years in 2017 and ‘16.

A Miami (Fla.) recruit and potential MLB Draft pick, Shields was a two-way star this spring for the Blue Devils, who reached the WPIAL finals for the third year in a row. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Shields went 5-1 with a 0.96 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 35 innings this season, while also batting .418 with 18 RBIs, 16 runs and 11 extra-base hits.

Shields struck out 11 batters in a 1-0 loss to North Allegheny in the WPIAL Class 6A finals Wednesday.

“David Shields was the best pitcher we faced this year,” Hempfield coach Tim Buzzard said in the press release announcing the award. “He’s also one of the best pitchers we’ve faced in my 17 years coaching at Hempfield High School. He has three plus pitches that he commands very well and he’s so poised at all times throughout the game.

“It’s very impressive for a player his age to be so composed, especially with the number of scouts that were in attendance when we played him. We knew we would have to hold their team to one run or less to have a chance against him.”

Baseball America ranked Shields as the 41st-best high school prospect nationally in this year’s class.

Award organizers noted that Shields also volunteered at the Miracle League baseball facility operated by Upper St. Clair native and former major leaguer Sean Casey.

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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