Senior spotlight: Future is full of possibilities for Bethel Park infielder

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Friday, April 3, 2020 | 6:01 AM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight a WPIAL spring athlete whose senior year has been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.

What’s the next step in Kevin Kogler’s baseball career?

If the spring sports season is called off, the Bethel Park senior may have played his last competitive baseball game.

If the season is played, the third baseman/relief pitcher will help the two-time defending section champion Black Hawks try to capture an elusive WPIAL title.

Either way, he plans to try out for the team at Penn State, so a year from now, he might find himself playing NCAA Division I ball.

The present is somewhat bleak, with a senior year stalled in an unprecedented way. The future, though, is full of possibilities.

What’s your best memory playing baseball at Bethel Park?

In the playoffs last year when we beat Seneca Valley in extra innings. We had a bye, so it was the second round. It went 10 innings. We kept working and fighting and everything and finally Cooper Shoemaker came through with a big hit. We were all celebrating, so happy that we won.

What’s your best memory as a sports fan?

That wild-card game for the Pirates whenever Russell Martin hit that home run against the Reds. That whole game was crazy. I loved it.

Who would you say is your biggest rival?

Probably Peters. I feel like there’s always been a rivalry between us and Peters, but especially last year. We went into two extra-inning games and came up short in both of them. That’s the team I’d want to get after this year, for sure. I’m definitely going to miss playing them, if we don’t have a season.

What’s the best way to avoid boredom when stuck at home?

I’ve been going to the cages and hitting a lot, trying to do some workouts, watching TV. I’ve been watching a lot of “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” on Disney+.

What are your college plans?

I think I’m going to go to Penn State next year and I might try to walk on the baseball team. Most of my family went to Penn State. I love it up there. It’s awesome. I could have gone to a smaller school and played and gotten a scholarship or something, but Penn State’s awesome. Hopefully I can make the team. That would be the best-case scenario. My twin sisters are up there now. They’re freshmen.

What do you plan to study?

I think I want to do chemical engineering.

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

Justin Meis. He was a Bethel Park baseball player. I just love listening to him talk. I think he’d give a great speech.

If you were asked to give a speech, what advice would you give to underclassmen?

As far as baseball, play every game like it’s your last because it might be. Like last year, that playoff game against NA, that might have been my last baseball game ever. I was expecting to have another season, but you’ve got to play every game like it’s the last one. Everyone younger than me should.

Jonathan Bombulie is the TribLive assistant sports editor. A Greensburg native, he was a hockey reporter for two decades, covering the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for 17 seasons before joining the Trib in 2015 and covering the Penguins for four seasons, including Stanley Cup championships in 2016-17. He can be reached at jbombulie@triblive.com.

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