Trib HSSN baseball player of the week for April 14, 2024

Sunday, April 14, 2024 | 8:22 PM

Trib HSSN baseball player of the week: Tommy Schafale

School: North Catholic

Class: Senior

Positions: Pitcher, outfielder

What coach says: “Tommy is a senior lefty who has tremendous ability of throwing strikes and changing speeds,” North Catholic coach Andy Przbylek said. “Very rarely is he behind in counts. To be able to throw in the high 80s, then counter with a change in the low 70s, he gets a lot of called third strikes. In two conference starts he has two shutouts with a one-hitter and a two-hitter.

“As a left-handed leadoff hitter, Tommy has plus speed. This enables him to lay down a bunt for a hit early in the game, then slam a triple in the gap late in the game. His first step out of the box will cause panic for most third baseman and shortstops.

“Tommy is a team-first player. It’s a joy to coach a five-tool player who respects the game and his opponents. Dependable and trustworthy, there are not many high school players that do it better. We look to build on last season’s playoff run. We are a senior dominant team with some very talented underclassmen.”

#Earned: Despite the rainy weather last week, North Catholic was able to get both of its Section 4-4A games in against Highlands with Schafale playing a big part in both victories. On Tuesday, the senior lefthander was the winning pitcher, throwing six innings of two-hit, shutout ball. He walked only one and struck out 10 batters. The next day, Shafale did his damage with the bat, finishing 2 for 3 with three runs scored and an RBI triple. North Catholic blanked Highlands in both games, winning 7-0 and 10-0. For the season, Shafale is hitting .375 with two home runs, seven runs scored and five RBIs. On the mound, he is 2-0 with a 1.78 ERA in 19 2/3 innings pitched with six walks and 26 strikeouts.

Background: Schafale pitched in his first WPIAL playoff game last season. He threw a five-inning complete game as the Trojans rolled past Elizabeth Forward, 11-1. Schafale threw five innings and allowed one run on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts. While baseball is the only scholastic sport Schafale plays at North Catholic, he did play soccer and basketball through eighth grade. Schafale, who has a 4.63 grade point average, plans to attend Penn State in the fall and hopes to play club baseball.

2024 Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week

Week 1 – Ryan Petras, Bethel Park


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