Sewickley Academy baseball standout Adin Zorn takes team-first approach to Penn State

Sunday, November 13, 2022 | 11:01 AM

The long-awaited day for the Zorn family finally arrived.

Sewickley Academy senior Adin Zorn officially signed his national letter of intent to attend and play baseball at Penn State.

Zorn, a talented shortstop/outfielder, was recruited by the Nittany Lions early in his high school career and made a verbal commitment in September of his junior year.

Sewickley coach Andrew Petruska said there is no limit to Zorn’s qualifications as a student-athlete.

“Adin is a rare find as an athlete, leading both on and off the field,” Petruska said. “His passion, work ethic and leadership mindset are like nothing I have ever seen. He has the unique ability to see the bigger picture, selflessly considering all angles.

“When he steps on the field, you can see his focus and intensity as he competes for his team and school. His mindset is one that cannot be found often. Not only does he strive to perfect his skill set, but he’s the most supportive teammate.”

The Zorn signing ceremony was held Nov. 9 at the Means Alumni Gym and Events Center at Sewickley Academy.

“I chose Penn State because it felt like home,” Zorn said. “I feel like it suits me academically, athletically and socially. I love everything about it and the coaching staff is fantastic. When I got my offer from Penn State, there was no other jersey I could see myself in.

“I don’t really expect anything to be handed to me right away. I intend to come in and compete and earn everything I get. I will do whatever it takes to help the team win and achieve our team goals.”

Zorn, who also was recruited by Rutgers and Kent State and plans to major in supply chain management, is a five-time team captain at Sewickley — three years on the baseball team and two on the boys soccer team.

He is a four-time all-section soccer player.

His freshman baseball season was wiped out because of the covid-19 pandemic.

The SA scholar-athlete — Zorn has a 3.5 GPA — was named most outstanding player on the Sewickley Academy baseball team as well as all-section.

Zorn’s reputation will precede him to Penn State, where he was recruited as an outfielder.

Zorn acquired an inherent love for baseball at an early age. He started playing at age 7 in a Hopewell youth league.

“I actually began playing mainly because my neighbors (on Woodland Drive in Aliquippa) all played, so they got me into it. One of my best friends, Joey Asvestas, lives down the road. He somewhat talked me into it and has been a great friend throughout my whole life,” Zorn said.

Asvestas, a 2021 Hopewell graduate and current RMU student, was a senior outfielder on the Vikings’ WPIAL championship baseball team in 2021.

Zorn began playing with the Diamond Dawgs travel team at age 10.

“At the time, I was big into travel hockey as well, playing for Pittsburgh Pens Elite team,” he said. “When I was about 14, I had to make a decision because both began to get very serious and take up most of the year.”

“I obviously chose baseball, but it was hard to give up hockey. I began practicing for baseball full-time and spent pretty much every day in the gym and cages. A huge thanks goes out to my family (parents John and Julie) and the guys at the Diamond Dawgs who have made this all possible. Their commitment to make me a better player and person is so appreciated.

“And I’d like to offer an extra thank you to everyone that’s been involved in the journey. My grandparents, especially, are so involved in my life, which is something I’m very grateful for.”

Zorn said his biggest influence in baseball has been his dad, John, who played baseball in high school and football in college. He was a quarterback at Gannon.

“My dad instilled a work ethic and drive for success in me from a very young age,” said the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Zorn, a two-year starter on the Sewickley baseball team.

Zorn has been the centerpiece of the Panthers baseball program since his freshman season, which was wiped out by the covid-19 pandemic.

As a sophomore, Zorn led SA with a .650 batting average, .708 on-base percentage and 1.125 slugging percentage, along with 11 doubles, two home runs, 20 runs scored and 26 hits. He also drove in 13 runs and stole eight bases.

“I just love to play in general, whether that’s baseball or anything I do. I’m really competitive and I love to win,” Zorn said. “So that’s why you see that, staying up, staying positive with a lot of energy around the team because guys feed off that. If you’re going, I feel like you can get a lot of other guys going as well. Baseball is a slower sport, so that’s why I try to do everything as fast and hard as possible.

“A lot of my hitting approach takes place before I get in the box, just seeing how the pitcher goes after different at-bats, pick up on different tendencies. And then when I’m in the box, I’m just looking to be aggressive and own the box. I’m always trying to hit the ball hard and in play because good things will happen.”

Last season, Zorn led the club in several offensive categories, including batting average (.617), on-base percentage (.690), slugging percentage (1.106), home runs (3), runs (22), hits (29) and doubles (12).

Heightened optimism reigns in the Sewickley baseball program again this year. After suffering a one-run loss in its 2021 season opener, Sewickley won eight of its next nine to move in contention for a section title last season.

“My expectations are to win,” Zorn said. “We are returning a lot of good players and we only lost one senior last year so, yeah, we feel like we can make a big run this spring.”

Zorn plays center field for the Pittsburgh Diamond Dawgs, an elite travel baseball program.

“Adin’s knowledge of the game is unreal,” Petruska said. “His IQ, his understanding of the strike zone, everything is just a step above the rest. The kid lives baseball and is always wanting to learn more. He looks to play center field at Penn State.”

The Nittany Lions have been in Zorn’s corner throughout his teen years.

“The summer following my sophomore year is when things really started to take off for me baseball-wise,” he said. “But one place stuck out to me throughout my whole recruiting process: Penn State.”


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