Trib HSSN baseball player of the week for May 12, 2024

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Sunday, May 12, 2024 | 8:36 PM


Trib HSSN baseball player of the week: Brock Cornell

School: West Allegheny

Class: Junior

Position: Center field

#Earned: Even though the West Allegheny section schedule ended the previous week with the Indians sharing the Section 3-5A title with North Hills, the team won three nonsection games to finish 15-3 in the regular season. Junior center fielder Brock Cornell, the son of head coach Bryan Cornell, was a big reason for the strong finish, collecting five hits, including two doubles and two triples and four runs scored in wins over Hopewell, Montour and Beaver. For the season, Cornell is hitting .365 (23 for 63) with six doubles, four triples, one home run, eight RBIs and 20 runs scored. His slugging percentage is .635, his on-base percentage is .423 and he has 10 stolen bases. He is also one of the top defensive center fielders in the district.

What coach/dad says: “There was one thing that stood out this week,” Bryan Cornell said. “Brock has been consistent all year, but there was an article about us last week and how we are doing well even though we didn’t have a home run all year. Wouldn’t you know, Brock hit a home run the next day. He actually hit two balls last week that would have been out of most places. He hit one to left center at the Wild Things Park and one to right-center field at Burkett that were hit extremely well but he only had that warning-track power and got a triple. Hit the weight room kid.”

“Last year Brock broke my single-season stolen base record at West Allegheny. I am still trying to figure out how that happened. There had to have been a mistake, lol. He was 27 for 27 last year. He hasn’t had as many stolen bases this year because his speed often stretches those singles to doubles and doubles to triples. Most times when he gets on he is in scoring position, and when you have hitters like Brady Miller, Wil Gubba and Derek Curry behind him, it sets us up pretty well.”

“Just his knowledge of the game and his natural instincts,” Cornell said of his son’s strengths. “He never played travel baseball and probably averaged 10 games a year since he was 6 years old. He really didn’t like baseball. When he got into our program in eighth grade is really when he started to like baseball. When he was growing up, I always told him to just continue play until he got into ninth grade because it would be fun. I also told him I would cut him in 10th grade because he wasn’t any good. I guess I was wrong.”

“We plan on doing a few scrimmages as well as an intersquad scrimmage as well to keep up playing,” Cornell said of his first-round bye. “We will continue to keep our guys on our pitching schedule with flat pens and try to make them uncomfortable in practice with some different situational stuff to keep us on our toes.”

Background: Cornell was a freshman on the Indians team that won the 2022 WPIAL Class 5A championship. He was a three-sport athlete at West Allegheny his freshman and sophomore years before giving up basketball before this season. An outstanding football player, Cornell led West A in passing (392 yards), rushing (1,043 yards), receiving yards (140) and scoring (17 touchdowns) and was a force on defense. He also has a 4.2 grade point average. While Cornell has no timetable yet on making his college decision, he will be playing football at the next level. He wears No. 7 in both football and baseball out of respect to several West Allegheny greats from years past that also wore No. 7, including current assistant coach Greg Marshall, Mike Caputo, Mateo Vandamia and Austin Hendrick.

2024 Trib HSSN Baseball Players of the Week

Week 5: A.J. Verdi, Mohawk

Week 4: Jake Robinson, Montour

Week 3: Gio LoNero, Seton LaSalle

Week 2: Tommy Schafale, North Catholic

Week 1: Ryan Petras, Bethel Park

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