Top 19 of ’19: Trib HSSN breaks down the top stories of the year — No. 14

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | 2:48 PM


The 2019 high school sports season is nearly in the books.

While we anxiously look ahead to 2020, let’s reflect on the district high school sports scene over the last 12 months.

Here is a look back at the top 19 stories from around the WPIAL in 2019.

HSSN Top 19 in ’19: No. 14 — Black out

Mark Black was one of the most feared hitters in the WPIAL this past spring. The then-junior catcher for Serra Catholic caused such anxiety from opposing coaches that he was intentionally walked 18 times in 31 WPIAL and PIAA playoff at-bats.

That fear was well founded though, for when opposing pitchers did pitch to him, he usually made them pay.

Black led the district with 14 home runs, most of them prodigious clouts. It was the most homers by a WPIAL player in nearly two decades.

Teams didn’t pitch to him nor did they run on him because of his quick release behind the plate and cannon for an arm.

Black, who was selected to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper High School All-American team and named the Trib HSSN Player of the Year, ended up with a mind-numbing 1.324 slugging percentage in leading the Eagles to a silver season in which they were the WPIAL and PIAA Class 2A runners-up.

Here’s a look at the rest of the top stories of the year:

No. 19 — Big Ben strikes often

No. 18 — Near perfect on the pitch

No. 17 — Five golden rings

No. 16 — Bucs title run is now a teenager

No. 15 — Worldly results lead to district and state gold

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