Trib HSSN baseball player of the week for April 7, 2024

Sunday, April 7, 2024 | 5:07 PM

Trib HSSN baseball player of the week: Ryan Petras

School: Bethel Park

Class: Junior

Height: 5-10

Position: Shortstop, Second base

What coach says: “Ryan continued to be a consistent, stabilizing force for the team,” Bethel Park coach Patrick Zehnder said about his games against Upper St. Clair. “He made all the defensive plays that came his way, including a couple plays on pickoffs and cuts that don’t show up on the scoresheet. He had seven quality at-bats with six hits and two doubles that injected energy into the team and started numerous rallies. He also showed his versatility offensively by laying down a bunt for a hit right after hitting a double.

“Ryan has put a lot of time into improving his defense over the past three years, even though he was already a plus defender. He has really improved his rhythm and step work to attack the baseball and get the hops he wants. His arm strength has also improved from last year, enabling him to make plays in the hole that only he has the agility to get to. He can be an elite defender at the next level.

“As the only returning starter that played over half of our games last year, Ryan is an important leader for the team. Both his talent and his experience as an infielder and outfielder help him know where everyone should be on a given play, which helps his positioning and pre-pitch communication. Ryan’s teammates selected him as a captain this year as a junior, which says all it needs to about his leadership. He always carries himself professionally, and his consistent demeanor combined with his competitive drive makes him an ideal leader. It really helps the entire program when one of your best players is also one of the best humans and hardest workers on the team.”

#Earned: Despite the cold weather last week, Petras carried a red hot stick in leading Bethel Park to a Section 2-5A doubleheader sweep over Upper St. Clair, 6-0 and 6-3. In the opener, the junior was 3 for 3 with a double, walk and a stolen base as the Black Hawks blanked the Panthers. In the second game, Petras was 3 for 4 with a double in leading BP past USC and into first place in the section while improving the Black Hawks’ overall record to 3-2-1. For the season, he is batting .588 with a .636 on-base percentage and 1.342 OPS. He has two doubles, two RBIs, nine runs and five stolen bases. He batted leadoff last year and now is hitting second in the order for Bethel Park.

Background: Petras was a contributor as a freshman for a second straight PIAA Class 5A baseball championship run for Bethel Park. He became one of the leaders a year ago as the Black Hawks reached the WPIAL finals for the second time in three years. While Petras has committed to play baseball at Northwestern, he has received plenty of offers from some Ivy League schools to play college football. He led Bethel Park in receiving and scoring and was second in rushing this past fall. He plans to play football again for the black and orange during his senior year next fall.

2023 Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week

Week 11 – Christian Lucarelli, Riverside

Week 10 – Miguel Hugas, Shaler

Week 9 – David Shields, Mt. Lebanon

Week 8 – Evan Holewinski, Bethel Park

Week 7 – Ty Eberhardt, Hopewell

Week 6 – Colin Watson, Plum

Week 5 – Andrew Hart, North Allegheny

Week 4 – Frank Kula, Laurel Highlands

Week 3 – Mason Horwat, Avonworth

Week 2 – Zane Griffaton, West Mifflin

Week 1 – Ryan Opfer, Chartiers-Houston


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