Senior Spotlight: Kiski Area outfielder sticking to routine while stuck at home

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 | 4:29 PM


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

Since the beginning of quarantine, Kiski Area senior Billy Perroz has been trying his best to stick to a routine.

He wakes up a little later than normal — a perk of learning online — and does his school work, then it’s off to the basement. The IUP baseball recruit set up a hitting station with a net and tee and has a few weights.

“I’ve been trying not to miss any beats really,” Perroz said.

The Kiski Area outfielder who hit .494 with 15 RBIs and 10 extra-base-hits last season still finds time to get outside. He will play basketball on the hoop in his backyard, and he also has been able to fish at a pond near his house. But even those activities don’t make up for what Perroz and the rest of his teammates are missing.

“I miss the team. I miss practicing with the guys a lot,” Perroz said. “It’s kind of boring practicing by yourself.”

Last year, the Cavaliers put together a special season in coach Aaron Albert’s first year. They clinched a playoff spot with an exciting 8-7 victory over Armstrong in their final section of the game, and Perroz was a big part of that success.

His time on the baseball field didn’t end there either. After the high school season was over, he played in three or four summer leagues and impressed coaches enough to earn a scholarship from IUP.

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down any chances of playing high school or American Legion baseball this summer, but Perroz is still hoping he has the chance to take the field with his friends before heading off to college.

“I have no idea if (summer leagues) are canceled or not,” Perroz said. “But I’m still looking forward to those. Hopefully, they don’t get canceled. I still want to play baseball this summer, but who knows? We just have to let time take its place and, hopefully, things will get better so we can get on the ballfield again.”

What’s your best memory from playing baseball for Kiski Area?

Winning that game against Armstrong to send us into the playoffs last year.

How excited were you for this season to finish off your high school career with the rest of the seniors?

I was most excited for this year, to play with all the seniors. It hasn’t really hit me yet, but the more time that goes on, I think I’ll realize that I won’t get to play with them anymore.

What’s your favorite sports moment as a fan?

I’d have to say the Pirates wild card game against the Giants.

What have you been doing while you’re stuck at home?

I’ve played so many video games it’s unreal. But I’ve also been going outside to my basketball hoop, and I’ve been going fishing a lot, too. So I’m still getting outside and staying busy.

Have you picked up any new hobbies during the downtime?

Nope, it’s just been the same old stuff.

What stuck out about IUP?

It just felt at home. I liked their campus. Everything really stuck out to me.

What are you hoping to accomplish while you are there?

My ultimate goal when I get up there is to make the starting lineup. We talked about it, and I was told I wasn’t assured a spot in the starting lineup, and I’d have to work for it. But I’m willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that.

Do you have any idea what you want to major in?

Computer science, software engineering

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

Probably one of my parents.

If you could face any pitcher — high school, college or MLB — who would it be?

Aroldis Chapman. I’d love to see what it’s like to face something that fast.

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

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