Senior Spotlight: After first playoff win in 18 years, St. Joseph senior wanted one more shot

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Friday, May 8, 2020 | 5:26 PM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Tyler Wood has loved baseball since he was a little kid.

Ever since his father introduced him to T-ball, the senior right-hander was drawn to the sport. So, when Wood found out that he wouldn’t be able to step foot on the baseball diamond for his senior year, he was disappointed.

“This was our year. I was so excited to come back,” Wood said. “We had a great team, great group of guys. So, I felt like we would’ve done great, probably the best our school has ever done, to be honest. But it stunk that we couldn’t go back. I was expecting a lot. I really was.”

Over the past few years, Wood has been one of the big contributors for St. Joseph’s baseball team. He turned in a .314 batting average as a sophomore. As a junior, Wood hit for an eye-popping .553 average with 26 hits and 14 RBIs as the Spartans went 8-8.

While he was successful at the plate, Wood was just as good on the mound for the Spartans. During his junior year, Wood produced a 2.97 ERA over 30⅔ innings and struck out 46 batters in seven appearances.

The right-hander also pitched 5⅔ innings and struck out 10 batters against Monessen in the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs last year as the Spartans earned their first playoff victory in 18 years.

Although his senior season was canceled, Wood’s baseball career will continue next year at Saint Vincent. So, despite the quarantine, he’s still trying to put in as much work as he can to stay ready for college.

“I have places by my house that I’ve been able to go out and throw, and I can go to cages and stuff with my dad to hit too,” Wood said.

What was your favorite memory of playing baseball for St. Joseph?

Definitely the playoffs. The first game. It was something that we didn’t see coming, but we just managed to do it. That was the best feeling that I’ve had with that team.

With the game on the line, would you rather be on the mound or at the plate?

I’d definitely have to say on the mound. I’m so confident when it comes to pitching. It’s second nature to me.

If you could pick any hitter to face, who would it be?

I’d like to throw to Mike Trout because he’s one of the best players in the MLB right now.

What made you want to go to college at Saint Vincent?

They have a great program up there for everything. They are a great school when it comes to education too, so I knew I would be able to pursue a career in the business management and I’d still be able to play baseball.

If you could choose anyone to give the commencement speech at your graduation, who would it be?

Probably my two baseball coaches, Kurt Krebs and Jim Basalone.

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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